Teaching is a job that requires you to multi-task at all moments of the day. Not only do you have multiple classes with plenty of individual students, but there’s also lesson planning, grading, parents, administrators, and more.
Stress management is as important as any other skill in the trade, and maybe even the most important. Without a plan to defeat the stresses of the teaching career, every other aspect of the job can fall apart.
Luckily, we’re here with 5 tips to follow and help ease stress and make you more productive, more successful, and more fulfilled while you teach.
1. Ask For Help
When things get too hectic, when you are overwhelmed with planning, grading, or even classroom management, it’s important to remember there are people around you who can help. Whether it’s an administrator or fellow teacher, they may have tips or suggestions to help you out of the bind. Also, remember you can count on friends, family, and spouses, to at least hear you out and maybe help alleviate the anxiety when it gets to be too much. You are not alone in this.
2. Set Realistic Goals
It’s a wonderful trait to be ambitious as a teacher – in fact, your students need you to be – but that doesn’t mean you have to burn yourself out with unreasonable expectations. Be mindful of what your day and energy is really like. Plan accordingly to what you can actually accomplish in the time allotted, rather than what you wish you could. Keeping your expectations in balance will save you energy, time, and stress, all of which will allow you to perform your job better.
3. Don’t Let the Little Things Bother You
It’s easy to let every little thing that seemingly doesn’t go to plan to worry you. Maybe a lesson you crafted for weeks doesn’t have the results you hoped. Or, maybe your assessment for your students didn’t fully encompass what you set out to do. Teaching is a career where you can, and are expected to adjust as you go. Different types of students and learners will ebb and flow into your classroom, and you have the ability to match their needs. It takes time to learn what works, so if something doesn’t: note it, reflect on it, and move on from it. Tomorrow is always a new day and there’s no reason to let any of the small stuff stop you from moving forward and improving.
4. Start Your Day Simple
It’s easy to enter the school at the beginning of the day and jump into all the work that needs to get done. It’s actually more beneficial to take these opening minutes and slowly and calmly welcome the day at hand. The tasks are waiting for you, but finding a calm ritual to ease into the work can set the tone for the whole day. The students haven’t arrived yet, so take these first moments to quietly visualize a positive day for yourself. Once it starts, you know those quiet moments will be few and far between.
5. Remember Why You Became a Teacher
There will certainly be overwhelming days; it comes with the territory. However, you can take on this stress by reminding yourself why you became a teacher in the first place. Keep special notes from past students, letters of recommendations from professors, or any trinket that reminds you of the positive reinforcement that got you to today. Have them at the ready, along with any cherished memories to reflect upon. These will remind you that no matter the problem at hand, you can and will overcome it.
What are some techniques you use to defeat stress?