Teaching can be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world, but it is also a profession with one of the highest rates of stress. The act of teaching hasn’t really changed that much, but the pressures put on teachers by regulations, red tape, and attainment expectations has changed dramatically.
Our children need good teachers. Teachers who are committed, knowledgable, and enthusiastic. Unfortunately, many are leaving the profession every year due to the stresses of the job.
In order to try and maintain your own mental resilience, here are some tips you might want to consider.
Remember Why You Wanted To Become A Teacher
Sometimes it’s easy to forget why you wanted to go into teaching in the first place. Often we find our minds concentrating on the negative emotions we’re feeling. Every day, remind yourself why you are a teacher and recall those pupils you have genuinely helped during your career.
As a supply teacher, acquaint yourself with the schools in your area so that you can be prepared for potential new assignments. A good resource for this is the elementary online school guide, it can be a useful way to learn about various schools.
Improve Your Resilience
Recognising and managing stress early is key. Find ways to manage your stress levels at home such as taking up a hobby, spending time with family and friends, or meditating. People respond better to different techniques so try a few until you find one that works for you.
Focus On Your Health
Good mental health depends on many factors, a major one being your overall health. Being stressed can cause sleep problems, poor diet choices and dependency on junk food and caffeine. All of these can impact our health and wellbeing profoundly. Make time for exercise, eat a balanced diet, and get into a good sleep routine.
Leave Your Work At Work
Being a teacher often requires working out of hours. Try to minimise this and draw a clear distinction between your work life and your home life. Your home should be your safe place, where you can relax and feel at ease.
Build A Support Network
Being able to talk to people who understand the pressures of teaching can be invaluable. If you’re a union member, there will most likely be a number of forums of networks you can join. These can be online or in your local area. You can share your experiences with others and provide support and advice.
Know When To Get Help
Getting help early is a great way to stop stress turning into something far more serious and causing you to leave the profession. If stress reduction techniques you are using aren’t working, then it may be time to reach out to get help. Your primary care provider should be your first port of call, they will be able to signpost you to a number of talking therapy services. Don’t be tempted to put off getting help. If it’s starting to affect your health or life in other ways then the sooner you act, the better.