Employee wellbeing is extremely important if a teacher is to perform well. If a teacher is unmotivated and burnt out, they are unlikely to inspire their students.
They are also more likely to take time off work and find it difficult to manager poor pupil behaviour.
Causes of stress
There are many factors that can cause stress for a teacher in the workplace, including:
- Emotional and physical demands of the job
- Parents’ behaviour
- Excessive workload
- School environment
- Workplace bullying
- Excessive change
- Low morale
There are many positive aspects of teaching which usually outweigh the negatives, but sometimes the pressures of the job can become too much. Targets and inspections dictated by education authorities are out of a teacher’s control, so it’s best for them to focus on the manageable areas.
If you’re a teacher, follow our tips for looking after workplace wellbeing:
Know your worth
Believe that you are good at your job. Remember why you got into teaching in the first place. Think of all the training and work you have done to get you where you are today. Don’t let the reality of the classroom dampen the passion you had when you started.
Try to keep your internal voice optimistic. Everyone has bad days and days where they feel they didn’t get everything done. Make sure to give yourself a pat on the back, even for the little successes.
If an issue arises, don’t stress. Break down the problem into manageable pieces. Get help from your colleagues. Don’t feel powerless to the problem – try and solve it in a positive way.
Work life balance
“Work life balance, what does that mean?” Although the day finishes at 3.30pm for students, many teachers have to work well beyond at home to make sure all planning and marking is complete. If this sounds familiar, make sure you still have time for the things you want to do. For instance, set time aside for marking at the end of the day while you’re still at work, rather than taking it all home. Go out and enjoy things love doing. There is more to life than your job!
Confiding in your peers unloads lots of tension. Everyone likes a good moan, and sometimes it’s just what the doctor ordered. Talk to your colleagues, friends or family and let you guard down. Don’t battle on alone; you’ll probably find other people feel just like you do or have done at some point in their career.
Employers supporting wellbeing
Teachers can do so much to improve mental health – the rest is down to employers making sure staff are looked after.
If you’re an employer, make sure you:
- Nurture resilience – create an environment where staff can talk about how they feel. Encourage them to form groups or pair up with a buddy. This helps to create a support network where staff can influence outcomes and work toward solutions together.
- Training – offer training to staff at all levels, as this can improve morale and satisfaction.
- Don’t ignore stress – make sure your staff take time out for lunch. De-clutter classrooms and make the workplace a nice area to be in. Discourage perfectionism, don’t set unrealistic demands and focus on rewarding staff for their achievements.
Improving wellbeing means teachers will perform better and look forward to coming into work and doing what they do best; teaching!
To read advice on dealing with stress, go to our resources section.
To find out more about how TEN and our partners can help your wellbeing, go here http://www.theeducationnetwork.co.uk/key-partnerships/academic-partnerships/mindful-me-health-well-being-ltd/
For our latest vacancies go here.