Teaching is a High Stress Job for Many

Hanna Kim - April 25, 2019

Teachers all over the country work tirelessly each year to teach impart the knowledge and skills students need as they grow. It’s well known that teaching can be a very stressful job, but just how many teachers are stressed at work? The answer could be even higher than you had imagined.

A whopping 93% of elementary school teachers sampled from an urban Midwestern school district for a 2017 study published in the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions reported feeling high levels of stress. Professor Keith Herman and his research team found teachers with high stress were more likely to be associated with poorer student outcomes including lower grades and more behavioral issues. The researchers are also involved in a follow-up study of middle school teachers, which seems to trend towards similar results.

Herman believes in a comprehensive strategy involving teachers and school administrators working together towards a shared goal. Despite feeling high levels of stress, many teachers continue with their work because they are dedicated to helping our youth learn and grow. He believes teachers can be more effective in their role by finding effective coping mechanisms for stress.

School administrators are responsible for helping teachers help their students succeed. The administration must account for teachers’ well-being by providing a healthy work environment and allowing teachers to have a voice in decision making as well as greater autonomy over their classrooms. He stated, “I’m surprised that few people seem to connect the dots back to their own children. When I think of my daughter, I know that I don’t want her to spend an entire day with an adult who is feeling overwhelmed, under-appreciated, and mistreated.”

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