Teachers report stress from having extreme amounts of paperwork (comprehensive and meaningful grading, student conflict, parent conflict, etc.), feeling alone and not having confidence in their ability. To alleviate this schools can try the following strategies:
Dedicate 1-2 hours of faculty meeting time to completing paperwork on a monthly basis.
Create a buddy system that provides the opportunity for teachers to collaborate.
Facilitate building relationships between teachers. Providing an avenue for teacher to develop collegial partnerships with each other is proven to reduce stress.
Create a mentoring program for new teachers or teacher new to your school/district.
Ensure that your new teacher induction process includes opportunities for building relationships, understanding how the organisation runs (the who to call and what to do if) clearly identified avenues for support and peer to peer coaching, which will help with the lack of professional confidence that many new teachers have.
Embed emotional wellness techniques such as mindfulness, meditative practices and exercise classes into the school culture.
Schools can implement a series of strategies at the orgaisational level but teachers and individuals can also reflect and make shifts in their routines to help diminish stress.
Prioritize finding support to help you work through your own experiences, if and when you need it.
Set boundaries and check in with yourself to process your feelings.
Create your own list of go-to self-care strategies to quickly reference when you need it most.
Prioritize your emotions and safety.
Deciding to make the changes needed to improve your wellness is a big step and needs to be carefully thought through. It is important that teachers determine where they want to focus their energy and time so they do not get overwhelmed and give up. Small steps taken over time is a healthy way to build strong habits. Here is a list of possible starting points to choose from as you build your robust wellness protocol.
Managing your stress
Getting some exercise
Separating work from home
Recognizing and strengthening your resilience
Finding your emotional balance
Setting and maintaining your limits
Building a routine