Teachers’ Advice on Stress
Of course, teaching is well known for its tendency to cause burnout. How have teachers dealt with this issue in the BTU? One solution to this was the production of articles on stress by and for teachers. Additionally, teachers were allowed simply to vent in the newspaper by publishing complaints about the issues they were facing. Sometimes the writers had no means of fighting the problem and simply needed a place to sound their complaints.
“-46% were not satisfied with their jobs as a whole”
-70% always/frequently are emotionally exhausted
-75% felt their job was physically/emotionally stressful
-70% feel trapped in present job
-91% felt they had little or no control over curriculum
-89% felt personally involved in job
-45% (if had another chance) would not choose teaching again”
“Some modifications helpful in alleviating stress are:
1) meditation, relaxation techniques
2) moderate exercise at least 3 times a week
3) proper diet (avoiding sugar, caffeine, nicotine, overeating, etc.)
4) adequate rest
5) accepting the fact that we cannot control the situation
“Boards can’t change many of the conditions and can’t change the way teachers operate as a profession and many of the kinds of conditions under which they have to work – so that teachers are looking to each other for help and support.”
Today, this stress is still present among the teaching workforce. Teachers have particularly been under more strain after having to figure out how to teach in a new world during the pandemic. Teachers are now navigating how to guide students who have grown accustomed to learning through a screen, all while dealing with their own transition to post-Zoom life. Needless to say, the solutions that are shared in this newspaper for stress can still be used today.
“I guess the message is that ‘accountability’ is for one group alone – teachers. It seems that Administration puts rules and procedures in place, but if they do not succeed, the blame falls squarely on teachers’ shoulders. Thanks for letting me vent.”
The newspaper also allowed teachers to deal with stress by providing them with a spot where they could vent about their complaints. Teaching can be a difficult profession due to the problems are often out of of the hands of the educators. This leaves teachers feeling helpless and burnt-out. In this situation, even just having the ability to speak one’s mind can feel liberating. Not only did this newspaper provide this safe space, but it also acts as a time capsule of these teachers’ voices.