RSS

Category Archives: stress of teaching

101 Ways to Cope with Teaching Stress | Smart Teaching

Here’s one for the teachers. It arrived via an email from one of the people involved with the US site on which it appears.

101 Ways to Cope with Teaching Stress | Smart Teaching

  • Stop smoking: That little buzz you get from a cigarette may calm you down temporarily, but the nicotine that’s blowing into your system will actually make you jumpy and over alert. In the long run, that’s not good news for your stress levels.
  • Minimize your caffeine: Teachers may thrive on coffee breaks, but consider cutting back to just a couple of cups a day. Even better would be to substitute at least one cup of coffee or soda for green tea. The tea can boost your immune system and contains less caffeine than coffee.
  • Eat breakfast: Eating a good breakfast not only boosts your metabolism, it also keeps you focused so that you’re more productive throughout the entire day.
  • Snack right: It’s easy to grab whatever snacks are in the vending machines or school cafeteria, but it’s also important to eat right while you’re at school. Physically, a diet of fatty, greasy foods will make you feel weighted down, bloated and tired, while your emotional state may be at risk too if you feel guilty about wrecking your diet.
  • Set realistic goals: As a teacher, it’s easy to get caught up in saving your at-risk students from failure or sponsoring every club each semester. Set realistic goals for yourself and you’ll be able to find a less stressful balance.
  • There’s your first five, and I’m afraid I passed only one. I won’t say which one. 😉 Too late for me now, but maybe some of you can profit from the advice.

    What’s more, a lot of it could be called “101 ways to cope with HSC stress” — so even students may care to look.

     

    How to maintain classroom discipline (1947)

    Not all of it is irrelevant sixty years later… Groundhog Day! Really! To be honest, I have been Mr Grimes I as well as Mr Grimes II — but never in Maths, of course.

     

    Interlude 2: Marcel’s teaching experience

    My fellow WordPress blogger Marcellous has written a funny and honest account of  life as an English teacher, even if he hints at a darker side. I can relate only too well to “scheming against a female head of English” as I saw that (and the reverse: a head of English scheming against the English staff) on at least three occasions. On the other hand I have also worked in English Departments where the harmony was very strong and few situations can be more pleasant. Unfortunately the reverse of that can be unbelievably stressful and destructive. In my case this even at one time led to as near to a breakdown as I would ever want to get. It certainly led to my leaving teaching for a period.

    Marcellous went on to become a barrister. I didn’t…

    But let me quote part of his post, and I hope he writes on this theme again:

    One effect of teaching which I observed in myself is that, accustomed to parting the crowds in the playground with a purposive walk and a defensive scowl, I caught myself doing it in the world at large (though less effectively). I only really became a real person in the middle of the school holidays.

    I think the thing I never really get used to as a teacher is the notion of fulfilling a public persona (which was inherently authoritarian) which was utterly divergent from my own private life. Now I have become more acclimatized to that public-private divide, which doesn’t only apply to teachers, or even to those in positions of authority.

    My desire to keep this blog positive may not preclude some dark tales of my own. They too can be instructive. However, one must be careful…