Stress Management

Managing Stress

Posted on May 15, 2014. Filed under: Stress Management |

stress

Stress is inevitable in teaching and my student teachers that are about to graduate will confirm that fact. As student teaching comes to an end, they are concerned about their last observation where they want to demonstrate they can deliver outstanding instruction, deal with discipline issues, administer formative assessments, complete certification paperwork, complete senior thesis and course work, prepare for graduation, prepare resumes, apply for teaching positions and the list goes on and on. It’s important for them to keep a healthy balance in their lives, and learn to handle stress.

At the beginning of the semester, I administer a quick stress quiz to my seminar students. Even though they are nervous about student teaching, their stress scores are low. Just before the semester ends, I once again administer the stress quiz and just about every student teacher’s stress number went up significantly as they do have a great deal of stress as their college career comes to an end. This is a great time to discuss how to manage your stress. Here are some of the things I share:

  • Keep healthy snacks in your classroom–granola bars or trail mix within reach is a healthy choice
  • Eating right outside of school–taking the time to cook something good for yourself and do not forget to eat breakfast
  • Exercise–find time for this no matter what. Even if it’s just going for a brief walk at the end of the day before you sit down to grade papers, it will help you recharge
  • 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. By setting realistic goals for yourself you’ll be able to find a less stressful balance.
  • Sleep: I know this will seem crazy, especially with your schedules, but you really need to get between 7-8 hours of sleep each night. It is a must for teachers!
  • Laugh: Laughter is the best medicine, so laugh along with your students or share a joke of the day.
  • Read a book just for you: The next time you select a book, pick something out just for you as a way to unwind. I love books and reading. This is the best way for me to unwind.

I hope you found these tips helpful and for more great tips, check out 101 Ways to Cope with Teaching Stress by Britney Wilkins

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