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Stress Busters for Teachers – Keeping Your Cool in the Classroom

by on March 8th, 2007
Stress Busters for Teachers – Keeping Your Cool in the Classroom

As much as teaching provides such an incredible feeling of fulfillment, it can also be one of the most draining career choices – mentally, emotionally and physically. With long hours and challenging students, some days the stress can be overwhelming.

Teaching also requires educators to tap into their inner resilience on a daily basis, to reach out and act compassionately with their students. Often teachers report that stress manifests itself in lack of sleep, annoyance and irritability with students, headaches, feeling a wave of exhaustion on the job and muscle pain.

Here are a few stress buster tips designed especially for educators and teachers.

Know Your Limits

Teachers are often put into a “super-hero role”. Accept that you are a human being and as human beings we have limits to what we can and cannot do. If there is a problem facing you, ask yourself, “Is this my problem?” If it isn’t, find the right person for the task, then let go and move forward. If it is, ask “Can I solve it now?” If you can’t, learn to accept that not everything can be resolved immediately. A major source of stress is people’s attempt to try to control events that they have little to no power over. Focus on the problems that really need your attention and leave the rest.


We’ve all heard the phrase “Laugher is the best medicine” – well, it’s true. The act of laughing helps reduce cortisol, a chemical that indicates stress in our body. Laughing also heightens our mood and improves our immune system. Outside of the classroom, rent a comedy, laugh with others, smile and wave at yourself in the mirror every morning. In the classroom, try incorporating a little humor into your teaching style. Your pupils will appreciate it, and you benefit as well.

Adjust Your Attitude

Stress is a matter of perception. If we perceive ourselves to be stressed, we are. Teachers cannot control the events that happen to them, but they can control how they react. Try to interpret stressful situations as challenges, not as threats. Maintaining a more positive attitude amidst a troublesome event or situation can make all the difference in the world.

Manage Your Time

Teachers know that every day comes with at least one, if not several unexpected interruptions. While there is no way to minimize these “time takers”, teachers can maximize the time they do have. Put all of your files, lesson plans, and references in order and organize your desk and workspace. Want a themed bulletin board? Get your students to create it. Not only does it save you time, but it helps build team spirit in the classroom.

Polish Your Communication Skills

In the teaching and education profession, communication skills are crucial to communicate your lessons effectively to the students, to address parent concerns at PTA meetings, and to work well with co-workers and school administrators. Learning how to interact with a variety of different communication styles is essential. Also, it’s a known fact that teachers have huge hearts by nature, and don’t like to say “No.” Being able to say no — politely and firmly — to projects, assignments and committees is one way to reduce the stress in your life.

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About the Author: Ronnie Nijmeh is an accomplished author, speaker and coach. He has been a featured expert on national television, radio, and print. Ronnie is the president and founder of ACQYR, an inspirational resource with free wallpaper downloads, affirmations, inspirational articles and much more. For interview requests or inquiries, call 1-877-438-3048 x. 3.

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