Teachers and stress

In the run up to year end I have noticed an influx of teachers with accumulated stress conditions. There is just so much paperwork and planning and activities and pressure and responsibilities faced by teachers today, and despite the term breaks they are expected to attend meetings, and prepare for next term, during them. Some are even studying further as well.

Most of those I see love their job, but it is getting the better of them. They are plodding on, with a stiff upper lip, not wanting to take time off because it will impact their good attendance record. They see me in private preferring to keep it quiet.

So many teachers suffer tenseness in their shoulders, arms and hands, anxiety in their stomachs, and tight chests. Shallow breathing is a classic sign of tension.  At home signs of stress are irritability, complete tiredness, or lack of sleep, worries during the night, aches and pains, panic attacks, emotional outbursts, lack of sex drive. Many grind their teeth, many get IBS (a classic sign of stress), while others get irritable, and others are even depressed.  Stress needs to be addressed or it turns into nasties like long term chronic illnesses and cancers.

At school a stressed teacher will cover this up, after all they have a job, some teachers don’t. Health is not discussed in depth, they grit their teeth and carry on, as they always have. There is too much else to do and think about, and besides, you don’t admit defeat, blot your copy book, by admitting it is difficult to cope, by admitting that you are on medication, such as anti depressants.

School budgets now include provision for dealing with stress and sickness. Like all businesses, if someone is off sick the school has to use up precious money to pay them, as well as their replacement.  Double pay for one job.  It is in the schools best interests to nip stress in the bud, to look after their teachers. Yet, it is up to the teachers to admit that they need that help, that they are not superhuman. Many still do not.

I am on the school supply list, a supplier of stress relief to schools who wish to get their teachers back in the classroom as quickly as possible. Whether they come via their school, or by themselves, this work is very confidential, yet targeted. It has an empowering effect and teachers can relate to it well. They have amazing inner resources of durability and positivity and I work with these to get the change they need. It is a combined effort for their benefit.

It is quite likely others in similar professions can relate to this, nurses and healthcare workers, too. If this resonates with you come and deal with it, the sooner you look after yourself the better.

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