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How schools can help to reduce teaching stress

07 June 2016

How schools can help to reduce teaching stress

It’s no secret that teachers experience more than their fair share of stress. In fact, the HSE reports that those in this occupation experience some of the highest levels of stress across any profession. From marking homework out of hours to disciplining ill-behaved students and juggling the demands of parents, it’s no wonder that teachers are often in desperate need of some stress management

If you’re concerned about the rising stress levels of your teaching staff, take a look at our following tips on stress management for teachers.

Focus on wellbeing at work

Employee wellbeing at work is becoming an ever-important element of any organisation. Aside from wanting to ensure your team of teachers are happy and healthy, there are also other benefits to looking after your team’s well being in school.

A 2014 Worker Wellbeing and Workplace Performance report from the UK Government found evidence to indicate a correlation between subjective well being in the workplace and an employee’s job performance, along with the suggestion that higher levels of well being can contribute to higher levels of job performance. Happy and motivated teaching staff has obvious benefits for students, so it’s in a school’s best interest to ensure teachers are looking after themselves.

As an employer, you could offer incentives to your teachers such as free flu jabs, fresh fruit in the staffroom and a dedicated HR advisor to help your teachers feel looked after. On-site exercise sessions and the provision of healthy food and drink at social events can also help to encourage a healthy workforce.

Re-evaluate the feedback system in your school

The amount of written feedback demanded of teachers at some schools may be contributing to heavier workloads and increased stress.

Look at how your teachers are marking and evaluating student work and consider other ways that this could be channelled.

On-the-spot verbal feedback could be a time-saving solution that allows teachers to have more direct contact with pupils, and is something that Southall’s Three Bridges Primary School has taken on board.

The school has given teachers more autonomy over deciding whether written, verbal or peer-to-peer feedback is best for students in given situations, resulting in the reduction of written feedback and therefore the amount of out-of-class marking teachers are conducting.

According to the school, teachers now spend more time focusing on individual learners and student achievement levels have been boosted as a result.

If you feel your teaching staff need a bit of a boost, then our ‘What Makes a Good Teacher’ infographic could be just what they need to re-address why they love teaching!

Teach mindfulness to reduce stress levels

Mindfulness may sound like a new-age buzzword, but it’s been proven to have a significant impact on both job performance and stress levels.

By training your brain and using your breathing patterns to gain mental clarity, mindfulness allows teachers to focus on the classroom.

Offering stress reduction courses to your teachers not only demonstrates your commitment to their well being at work but gives them the tools to shift the focus away from the negatives and enhance and celebrate the positives in the everyday.

Mindfulness can reduce teaching stress and boost attention and memory, so it’s a win-win for both you and your teaching staff.

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