- Research indicates that the stress levels educators bring into the classroom may have an impact on their students, according to Education Week. One analysis found that teachers showing higher levels of stress at the start of the school year start showed less effective teaching strategies during the year.
- An analysis from University of Texas researchers used federal data to determine particular stresses for teachers, measuring the "demands" on teachers versus the amount of resources they had. Demands included teachers’ and students’ backgrounds and whether classes had high numbers of ELLs, special ed students or students in poverty, among other attributes.
- Researchers found that teachers who felt the demands outweighed their resources were half as likely to say that they would choose to become teachers again. Teachers with more resources than demands were more than twice as likely to remain as teachers than those who felt their resources and demands were "balanced."
Professors in colleges and universities dealing with mental health issues reported in a recent study that they typically do not avail themselves of counseling services on campuses, and it stands to reason that K-12 schools and districts could benefit from offering educators mental health support for the stressors they face in the classroom as well. But balancing this with budget cuts and what is already a shortage of counselors for students, much less for teachers, is a tough call. A 2012 analysis found that there was, on average, one school psychologist for every 2,000 students when there should be one for every 500 to 700 students.
However, schools (and government funders) should view the investment as a bulwark against future, more drastic expenses that may emanate from poor teacher performance due to higher stress levels, as well as from the challenges students may face if their own stress levels are affected. Schools may have to invest in counselors, but they could save on remedial education and other drastic measures later on. This also pertains to getting teachers those resources that would alleviate the stress they feel in the classroom; allowing for more planning time and smaller class sizes helps the teacher better prepare, and though this could require more investment up front, it will pay dividends later with the expenses districts and states save.