How does stress affect your teaching and working life? – open thread
A survey reveals teachers to be constantly tired and stressed. Does this sound like you?
Stress and teaching: secondary school teachers rate themselves slightly more stressed than those in the primary sector, a recent survey found. Photograph: Alamy
Finding a teacher who doesn’t feel stressed is possibly like trying to find a needle in a haystack. In fact, a recent survey found that 100% of teachers asked said they suffered with stress and that it had a detrimental impact on their lives, both inside and outside the classroom.
The survey, by Teachers Assurance, also discovered that 83% of teachers feel constantly tired because of their worries; 42% feel less able to do their job as a result and 66% said stress caused them to be less patient with others. Moreover, 84% of teachers surveyed felt they would probably be a better teacher if they were less stressed.
Stress levels are also having detrimental impact on health, with teachers taking on average 13.2 days sick leave, and 76% of teachers agreeing that stress was affecting their health and lifestyle. More men (31%) than women (26%) admitted to suffering stress due to health related concerns.
Some 51% of respondents said work issues had the biggest impact on their wellbeing, creating higher levels of stress than any other area. Changes to pay and benefits were another contributory factor towards high stress levels in the profession, with changes such as pay freezes and pension reforms having an effect on overall stress levels. Some 43% of teachers said they were definitely more worried about finances as a result of the recent changes.
The survey also discovered that secondary school teachers rate themselves as slightly more stressed than those in the primary sector. Teachers were more likely to feel the impact of stress than heads of years, subject co-ordinators, deputy heads and headteachers, with 79% of the 31-40 age group being most keenly aware that stress was having an impact on their lives.
How does stress affect you, both at school and beyond the classroom? Do you feel constantly tired and worry about the impact stress has on your teaching abilities? And how do you cope with the stresses of your job? Please share your experiences with us in the comments below.
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