It is said that Teaching is one of the most stressful professions in the UK at the very least. According to the Health and Safety Executive, teaching and education professions report around 2,310 cases of work-related stress for every 100,000 employees each year with only nursing having a worse record.
Around 55% of Teachers in state schools have had at least one period of sick leave. (Ref.)
Many new initiatives and promises are made by the Government and Schools to address the illusive work life balance issue and teachers are encouraged to free themselves from the shackles of continual care and pressure. We all know it isn’t as easy as that!
But, how? How do we manage?
- Is it because we finish at 3pm everyday?
- We never have to work weekends?
- Have so many holidays?
- We just kick the naughty kids out?
I think not… anybody who knows anything about an effective teacher knows this isn’t the case.
I have come to the conclusion, that we are always stressed. We are masters of stress. We manage stress. I live with it daily. I think I have made it my uncomfortable friend. The shadow that drives me on. The voice that suggests I work smarter not harder. The twitch that perks me into shape.
“TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control.”
Have I had alopecia since I have started teaching because I am continually stressed? I think so…
Have I had an itchy scalp for the last few years, because I am stressed? I think so…
Do I not sleep much because I am always thinking about what I have to do? I think so…
I take solace in knowing, I am not the only one right? Yet, as a leader, my job is the shelter my team from all stress.
Bear Grylls once said… yes, Bear Grylls. (I love him!)
When you are a leader nobody cares how much you know. They want to know how much you care.
How do I manage it?
I try simple, but regular things…
- I play football every Tuesday with my friends. They start at 9pm, to give me enough time to get home, changed and have dinner. Even when I feel I can’t do it. I do.
- I see my Mum/Dad every Thursday. Without fail. No matter what.
- Half terms are for me. Not school. One day at a push at school. That is it.
- I play for a team- Football in the Winter. Cricket in the summer. Therefore I socialise.
- I do not EVER work Friday night/Saturday day.
- I have a healthy breakfast. Every morning.
- I do not reinvent the wheel. I use Twitter!
- I ask for help when needed. This may be an extension or simple guidance.
- I do not drink or smoke.
- I am loved and I love!
- I plan. I stay organised.
- I see my friends every half term. I dedicate time to them.
- I am always grateful. I have a job. A family. A home. A loved one. Security. Comfort. I literally can’t complain. In the grand scheme of things, In England. Can we?
Without the above I can not be as effective as I am in my job. Without the above, I can not master my stress. I can not manage it. I can not keep the lid shut.
What will you do to manage yours?
Can I offer some suggestions?
- Try filling up a Eureka Jar?
- Speak to people? Try #TwitterCoaching– Help each other.
- Vent- Try it at www.staffrm.io but do not moan bond!
- Try @MartynReah’s #Teacher5Aday
- Just Say Thanks. If you do it, maybe others will too?
- Accept at times, we make mistakes and that you are learning too.
- BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND!
Please do comment with some of your suggestions?
If you do wish for more support with stress then visit http://www.teachersupport.info They run a hotline service and can offer support, information and guidance for free without any judgment.
- Really useful website with top tips/advice and real life blogs. Click here!
- 10 Things Successful People Do. Click here.