Teaching is one of the most stressful jobs out there. I’m not trying to criticize any other job. But every single day, I not only have to worry about my own stress, but the stress of all 140 of my students. If they lash out because of what they’re feeling, then it becomes my problem to solve.
I had this conversation with my mom and some friends the other day. I’m really not overly stressed while at school student teaching. It’s everything else that stresses me out. Teaching, planning, and grading at this point doesn’t stress me out. The things that stress me out are making sure my weekly reflections are in, my thesis gets done, and that I “pass” what I need to to complete student teaching. The act of student teaching itself doesn’t cause me stress.
I’ve definitely gotten my feet under me, and teaching is coming easier. So maybe this is for you. Maybe you need tips on how to manage your stress at your workplace. That’s what I’m here for! Here are my tips on how to deal with stress in a stressful job!
- Remember that each day is new- This is something my high school practicum teacher always made sure his students knew. It doesn’t matter what happened the day before. You start each day fresh.
- Take a moment and breathe- Sometimes my students in one class frustrate me. I have to remember to breathe before I take action.
- Don’t let your anger or frustration get above a 6 on a scale of 10- This is a huge one for me. Regulate yourself enough that you never reach an explosion. If you keep yourself at that “ready to blow” level, then you’re just a ticking time bomb. For me, if one of my classes frustrates me, I have to let that anger go enough for the next class. It’s not fair to my other classes that they come in with me in a bad mood. Sometimes, that means taking a breath or taking a second.
- Get up and move- I’m constantly walking in my classroom. Being active helps increase your blood flow and neuronal activity. It also helps your moods. So when upset, find some way to get up and move, even if it’s just a quick trip to the bathroom.
- Leave your work at work- Especially for teachers, it’s easy to say “oh I can just grade this at home!” But that just transports the stress from one place to another. For me, I’ll stay a little longer to get grades in than just finish it at home.It then doesn’t have the added weight of going home.
- Prepare what you can when you can- I spend time prepping for the next day that way when I come in pretty much everything is ready to go. I usually make copies in the afternoon. I didn’t do that on Friday, and it was a little extra stress when I had to make them this morning.
- Know where everything is- I keep my water bottle in the same spot on my desk, my attendance tracker roams around but I always have a general idea of where it is. The pen for the smart board stays on the holder unless it is being used, and the clicker is usually around one of those things.
- Tackle the most important things first- This way they’re out of the way. For example, planning for tomorrow is more important than planning for next week. Get done the closer deadlines first.
I know there’s only 8 tips, but that’s all I really do. This way, I can be stress free while at my stressful job. I hope these tips help you! If not, I would love to hear what helps you manage your stress at work!