Study finds teacher stress levels on par with those of physicians and nurses
- NPR reports on a recent study in which nearly half of teachers say the stress and disappointment of their jobs "aren't really worth it."
- Teacher stress levels, the study found, are now on par with the levels reported by nurses and physicians, and contribute to the high attrition rate in the profession.
- Research has found a direct correlation between student success and teacher stress; social adjustment and academic performance of students suffers when the teacher are not happy.
It is no secret that climate is a huge factor of success in any school, and the findings of this study serve as a reminder of just how much of a difference environment makes. In some cases, the external circumstances students bring to school with them are added stressors administrators can't do much about. And when new teachers are coming into areas with wholly different challenges than what they're accustomed to, it can be difficult to adjust and teacher burnout becomes more likely.
But peer mentoring programs, allowing more collaborative planning time and increasing opportunities for professional development can help alleviate some stress and boost the fulfillment levels of the job. Research also suggests that promoting mindfulness training for teachers is helpful for improving their sentiments about the job.
In addition to formal training and planned down time during the day, administrators should help foster a climate that is supportive and empowering of both teachers and students to help promote higher job satisfaction numbers. Key to this idea is the notion of shared leadership, a model that decentralizes power and seeks to be more inclusive of teacher and student perspectives.
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