Monday, May 25, 2015

Teacher Stress? We've Got This Beat

If you’ve entered the teaching profession, the chances are you’ve encountered more than your share of teacher stress.  It’s an unfortunate given of the job as we try, as best as we can, to meet the unique and individual needs of our students.  Many new teachers struggle to make it past the first five years of teaching because the stress has gotten to them.  But with almost 23 years of teaching experience I’ll let you in on a little secret, there are things we can do to help better deal with the copious amount of stress this job throws at us.

Celebrate the Little Things

Often as teachers we are so immersed in teaching and learning we forget to take the time to celebrate the little things.  But the thing is without these little steps there would be no growth.  Look, and yes sometimes it’s hard to see, but notice the small steps your students are making and celebrate them!

Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Don’t get me wrong I strongly believe our job is very important as we have a hand in shaping the future of the next generation.  We might be the first person to believe in a child, or the only person a child can trust.  But as important as our job is it is so important that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Have some fun with the job, laugh with your students. Take the time to play. Never take yourself too seriously.

Be Flexible

One constant we have as teachers is that there are many things out of our control.  Some of those things might drive us complete crazy, but the reality is we work in a system that is far more complicated than just us.  Being flexible is one way to deal with these constant changes.

Take Time For Yourself

Teaching is one of those jobs that can constantly demand your time. There is always another article to read, another student or parent to connect with, or another lesson to plan. It’s a job that can take every free moment of your day… if you let it. Don’t!  We are no good to anyone if we aren’t good to ourselves.  Take time for yourself. Breathe, walk away, get outside, travel, garden, read books for pleasure or whatever; do what makes your heart smile.

Be Active

Exercise is the secret drug of life. It helps keep you grounded and focused on what you need to achieve.  It helps keep stress from taking over.  Now I’m not saying go sign up for the local marathon but make a commitment to yourself to get your body moving regularly. It can be a simple as going for a walk over your lunch hour, or having a regular workout regime.  However you make it work, make time to be physically active.

What do you do to combat teacher stress?

*This post is part of a series of monthly questions that Cathy Rubin is asking several education bloggers to respond to.  This month's question was "What are quick ways to combat teacher stress in a classroom?"  It is an honour to be a part of this group.  Please check out the complete list of posts here . 


  1. Great list. All of these are so important. I really like "don't take yourself too seriously." Always look for the silly, fun, or ridiculous that happens and laugh!

    1. Thanks Scott for the comment. I hope you are well in your part of the world.

  2. Yes! Finally something about teacher stress.