From Distressed to De-stressed - 2

Earlier in June, we discussed on “Stress – Myth & Practices”. Now, we’ll discuss the stress experienced by teachers and students due to the influence of various stressors.

Teachers play many roles as mothers, fathers, daughters, which put them under various circumstances that create stress apart from the work stress they suffer. These kinds of external situations influence their behavior in work environments and add to extended stress as well. Further, there might be various stressors pressing a teacher like:

  • Pressure from the management
  • Stress from a colleague personally or professionally
  • Stressors from the unmanageable students

However, when work-life balance is given a thought, it is essential for individuals, particularly for teachers to compartmentalize their goals. Compartmentalizing their personal and professional goals is sure to help teachers in concentrating on aspects like teaching and guiding the students, keeping track with the curriculum, maintain professional communication with the colleagues, and perform the responsibilities for which they are hired for. Moreover, teachers who have clarity about their job roles can manage stress better.

As stress is either self-induced or triggered externally, given that we don’t have control over the latter. But we have control over how we want to respond to the stressors. So, it obviously becomes the teachers’ responsibility to acquire skills to manage the class room i.e., the disruptive students, to manage the colleagues by maintaining professional communication boundaries and professional conduct, to work with the management to fulfill the requirement for which the teacher is recruited. Sometimes, apart from the stressors mentioned above, there are chances of a teacher likely to falling ill, will lead to developing stress physiologically.

Coping with stressors within classroom (for teachers)

  • Teachers shall designate a high active student to manage the class
  • Adopt or practice Student Reward System to encourage student participation in maintenance of decorum in class
  • Ignore the negative behavior of students to avoid students indulging in power struggle with the teacher.
  • Negotiate their plans with students in a way they feel at ease to give in to.
  • Lay rules and restrictions with freedom of choice to instill students with a sense of responsibility, and make them follow the instructions.

Teachers should not exhibit their emotional weaknesses to the students, as students are great observers and when students are aware of the teachers’ weaknesses they’ll be more prone to tease the teachers exploiting their weakness. In short, teachers should maintain their composure.

Managing students becomes a cake walk when the teacher skillfully elicits the students’ compliance by giving them an option.

Coping with stressors within the institution – for teachers

Planning, prioritizing and working within the time limit are more important for teachers to keep stressors out of the view.

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Utilizing the opportunities other than teaching that is available in an institution would help teachers meeting out the expectation of the management and also keeps them out of stress. But teachers should prioritize and pick those tasks in which they are skilled.

Stressors influencing students in teenage

Students get stressed when the teachers or the authorities pull them out in front of their peers and say words like “with this kind of attitude you’ll never do well in life” or “what happened, your brother/sister did so good, why are you like this?” These kinds of statements make the situation worse, as the age is so sensitive to understand the purpose and effort of the teacher in putting them on track, they’ll react by not performing well in the subject just to show their resentment towards the teacher.

Stress for students arises when:

  • They are compared
  • Partiality is shown
  • Personal comments are made about them, their family members, their performance, their appearance in front of their peers

Avoiding treating students in a way listed above is sure to mitigate the classroom chaos and will also help teachers in driving their point home and building better capacities.

Bridging the teaching learning gap

It is generally inhibited that there is a lack of interaction between students and teachers and this is true to some extent. But one point which people at both the ends have to realize is that teachers should deliver content in a way that is appealing to the students, and students should open up showing their interest to learn more. By presenting content with a different perspective or through a different delivery methodology, teachers could entice students to engage themselves enthusiastically in learning. This attempt will turn-up with dual benefits, one is that the teacher’s creativity is exhibited and the other is that the lateral thinking ability of students is stimulated.

When it comes to giving projects and assignments to students there is a general stressed perception among the students that assignments are gruesome and burdensome. In reality, every institution sketches its academic plan, giving ample time for covering all the activities essential for an academic year. In which case, it is evident that students are not imposed with burden in the form of assignments. It is the teachers’ responsibility to delegate the work to students in a way that it is well received by the students.

Hope these thought sparks would have enlightened you and have lightened the way you respond to work stressors.

Happy working!

About the Author

Mrs. Saras Bhaskar is the Founder of Professional Counseling Services (PCS), who is skilled in identifying psychopathology, and offers necessary therapeutic guidance. 

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