Teachers Are Stressed

Nearly two thirds of educators surveyed by the American Federation of Teachers in the United States report poor mental health for seven or more of the past thirty days. Nearly half say they experience stress on a daily basis according to researchers from Pennsylvania State University. Stress of course negatively impacts the health, sleep, and quality of life of teachers. But research is also unequivocal on one more important aspect of teacher stress: "Teachers in the high stress, high burnout, and low coping class were associated with the poorest student outcomes." Although we are often bombarded by fake news on social media, there is nothing fake about the series of rants we are now seeing from teachers in the Philippines. In less than 24 hours, an open letter written by a retired teacher has already garnered 10000 comments and has been shared more than 50000 times on Facebook.

Above copied from NPR

Teachers' stress is a problem for all of us. It is a real crisis and we need to act to help prevent or alleviate teachers' stress. In Taiwan, research has shown that the main source of stress is the changing education policy of the government. In another study in the United States, the following scenario is cited: "The teacher discussed how the school administration forced curriculum changes on the teachers without consultation, sufficient time to prepare, or taking into account important factors such as the teachers’ current lesson plans, the subject they were teaching, and individual students’ issues." Research also shows that females experience greater stress and a lower sense of accomplishment. And there is no doubt that young teachers are much more susceptible to burnout (physical or mental collapse). The Philippines, with its new K to 12 curriculum and a significant number of young teachers and females, is very likely facing the same situation.

There is a research article that summarizes what we already know regarding teacher stress. It enumerates for instance the major causes of teacher stress: (1) lack of time, (2) poor relationships with colleagues and school leaders, (3) inadequate resources, (4) role conflict and role ambiguity, (5) coping with change, (6) being evaluated by others, and (7) workload. And the consequences are equally clear: (1) depressive and psychosomatic symptoms, alcohol consumption, and burnout, (2) poor immune systems, (3) poor self-efficacy, and (4) high attrition. And obviously, a teacher's stress affects a teacher's performance.

What I just read from a Facebook post from a retired teacher in the Philippines may not be as polished as the research articles cited here, but, nonetheless, it carries the same important message. We do not need interventions when we know quite well what the causes are. Teacher stress can be addressed, but only if we listen to our teachers. Here is the post.

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AFTER 2 CASES OF SUICIDE AMONG DEPED TEACHERS, AN OPEN LETTER FROM A RESIGNED TEACHER GOES VIRAL
(Copy and Paste)
Excerpt;
Truth behind the resignation of Mam Catalina Sotto, former teacher of Tala High School.
This is going to be the first and last time that i will talk about the real reason behind my resignation as a public school teacher
It is easier for me to let go of the job i am having for ten years, the job that i thought would lift my social status at least, the job i thought would help me improve my well being and develop my personality, the job that i thought would help children to change the world, the job i thought would make me survive in this complex world but it all goes the other way around.
There are two different reactions of people i encountered when they learned that i already left my teaching career. One is so happy, that i am already out of the stress zone and the other one is looking at me like im crazy already for letting go of something stable
Why did I resigned?
1. The job is killing me already, i have accumulated diseases over the years like laryngitis and cyst on my bladder due to continuous usage of my voice and an unhealthy lifestyle due to stress.
2. The job that is supposedly an already paperless work because of modernization becomes a more complicated work due to school records that needs to be transferred to soft copies
3. I have been away from my sons for three years already, and that is not making me a good mother.
4. Have been building my status as a coach for years, won contests and spent money from my own pocket for the sake of the contest but i woke up one day that i am already replaced, but needed my help to train the one who replaced me, won the contest and i ended up unrecognized.
5. Its so painful being a teacher but treated like im uneducated.
6. Cant stand the competition arising.
7. The system itself.
8. Ill never get rich, no leveraging, the compensation does not equal your workload. Too much work but underpaid.
9. You have a lot of bosses.. Even your co worker acts like one
10. Spent money from my own pocket for teaching materials
11. Loads of credits and loans.
12. Im not happy anymore.
13. Stressful
They say teaching is a noble profession, but i am not born to become the noblest person, i am a mother, a wife and a daughter. Lets all be practical. We all applied from work to earn a living, not to kill us. Its all about prestige, power and respect. I just want to live and be happy. These reasons are just some, i have not included yet the best reasons why I left. But to make things clear, i do love my co teachers from the dept and esp. My students.
I hope people would now understand why i gave up my profession and switch. ITS MY CHOICE! ITS MY LIFE!!
If somebody would hate me for this, its up to you, which only means you have read it to the end...
Lam mo na...
/CTO





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  2. Emmm i would like to say you here that most of the teachers are stressed because of students too many noise and misbehave so that i think the online education via different websites like https://qanda.typicalstudent.orghere or any other site is the best where you can ask question online from the teachers !!

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