Stress Management for Teachers

There are days when "life" and "stress" are synonymous. It only takes one thing to go wrong to send us into a tailspin of stress and confusion. Even more so in the education field where we are literally responsible for the health & safety of tiny humans. In this course, we'll discuss ways to reduce and manage stress. 

What is Stress and What Causes It?

What is stress and what causes it?

Stress is negative emotional response to an adverse or demanding circumstance. There are many possible scenarios that can trigger stress, including:

 

I'm stressed! Now what?

You know that you're stressed. You feel it in your tense shoulders, your throbbing headache and your restless nights. So what do you do about it? As an educator, there are several strategies you can implement in order to help reduce stress.                         

-You can reduce stress through planning.

- Reduce stress through classroom management.

- Reduce stress through following a daily schedule.

-Reduce stress by getting organized!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reduce Stress through Planning- The Daily Schedule

 

The Daily Schedule- Cont.

One of the most important aspects of planning in early childhood is following a daily schedule. As a teacher, this is a snapshot of how you want your day to flow, and will keep you on task. It will also help to establish a routine, which is pertinent to success in the classroom. 

Your schedule should include specific times for each activity, along with the name of the activity including transitions and activities.  This will allow parents, administrators and visitors to know what to expect during specific times when visiting your classroom.

Along with the above reasons, having a daily schedule takes the pressure off of you as the teacher, because you know what to expect at each time throughout the day. It's a lot less stressful that showing up to work and decided what to do and when to do it on-the-spot.

What happens when you don't have good classroom management skills?

Picture This...

  • Disruptive behavior.
  • Stress for the teacher.
  • Interrupting the learning of others.
  • Other students join in the chaos.

Classroom management Tips & Tricks

1. Have a plan.

*Complete weekly lesson plans and at the end of each day, take out all the materials you will need for the next day and leave them in the location where you will need them.

2. Create fun and engaging content to teach.

*Students are less likely to misbehave when they are having fun and excited about what they are doing.

3. Plan for disruptive behavior.

*It won't take long for you to identify the students who are the most difficult. Once you know who they are, plan accordingly.

*Create a seating chart to separate students who won't stop talking.

*Assign a helper role to the student who is always off task. Give them the job of supervising whatever disruptive behavior they exhibit. For example; If he/she is always running, make that student the Road Runner Monitor, who reminds students to use walking feet. 

4. Have clearly defined transitions and practice everyday.

*Children easily adapt to routines and if practiced daily, it will provide structure and consistency that will allow the children to govern themselves. 

5.Provide rewards for good behavior and consequences for disruptive behavior.

*Tell students they can accumulate "Behavior Bucks" that can be used at the end of the week to purchase something from the class treasure box.

Reduce Stress through Collaboration

Don't Go It Alone

Been there, done that.

The great thing about education is there is a wealth of resources available at your fingertips. If you are struggling in any area, don't try to reinvent the wheel. Reach out to you center's administration or even fellow teachers to get ideas and support when you're having a rough day.

You can also utilize websites like Pinterest, or simple "Google" the issue that you're having and you will find tons of resources that you can try. And if at first you don't succeed, try and try again. Eventually you will find something that works for you.

Don't be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. In educator can tell you that we have all found ourselves on the verge of stress related tears, and yet we all survived. So will you! 


Reduce Stress through Parent Involvement

Parents as Part of the Team

Ways to Involve Parents

Simply ask for help!

Most parents have no idea what's it's like to teach a class full of young children, unless they are teachers themselves. By asking parents to volunteer, you will make them feel like a part of your school community, along with giving them a glimpse of what your day looks like and just how much time and effort goes into it! You can:

- Ask parents to volunteer to read to students during circle time. This can free up a few minutes for you to get something else done.

-Ask parents to volunteer during playground time. This will give you an extra set of eyes and ears which is always a good thing.

-Ask for parent volunteers on days when you know you'll have a messy art project. An extra set of hands will be just what you need. 

-Ask parents to donate supplies and games. Give parents a list of items you would like to add to your classroom and make it completely optional for them to donate or not donate. As educators, we often find ourselves spending our own money to add varied items to our classroom. Ask for donations or shop places like Goodwill!

What are some ways you have involved parents in your classroom?

Reduce Stress in your Personal Life

Say No to Stress!

Often times we are so busy taking care of everyone around us, that we forget to take care of ourselves. This can cause undue stress and mental fatigue. It's important that you take time to relax. If you are stressed in your personal life, take an inventory of the things that are causing you stress, and decide what you can change.

Are you stressed about finances?

*Create a budget and stick to it, allowing a small portion for fun activities.

*Consider a part-time job where you can work a schedule that fits your life, such as driving for Uber.

*Review the items you currently spend money on, and determine what-anything can be eliminated.

-Can you switch to Hulu or Netflix instead of cable?

-Can you share a phone plan in order to get a cheaper rate?

-Can you carpool to work?

Do Something Fun!

Do you enjoy reading? Working out? Binge watching Netflix series? Whatever you enjoy most, make time to do that- and do it frequently. Trust me, you need balance so as to not be consumed by stress. So, when you go home for the weekend, do yourself a favor and leave work at the door. Just as you take care of a group of tiny humans everyday, give that same effort into taking care of yourself. You are one of the most important people in the life of the children you serve, give them your best by first being your best! You can:

*Take a walk in the park on a sunny/breezy day.

*Work in your garden.

*Play with your children or grandchildren.

*Get a pedicure.

*Eat a nice meal.

*Buy yourself something nice.

*Spend time with friends/Family.

*Watch a movie.

*Do absolutely nothing.

And if all else fails, turn on some music and dance like nobody's watching!

Congrats!

Congrats!

You've now completed Stress Management for Teachers!

Now, send an email to [email protected] sharing two stress management tips discussed in the course, along with your full name, and you will receive the completed training certificate!