Teaching is a rewarding vocation, we’ve seen it so many times in our classrooms – but that’s not to say it isn’t stressful, too. It is.
Having been a Primary school teacher, before my training as a therapist, I can fully relate to the stresses of the job, and how these stresses impact us both personally, and professionally.
There are many stressful situations in teaching, which has been well documented – from national newspapers, to guidance from our unions, to charities that support teachers. Last year’s Teacher Wellbeing Index (2019), conducted by education charity, Education Support, found that 72% of all educational professionals described themselves as stressed, and 57% of all education professionals have considered leaving the sector over the past two years due to pressures on their health and wellbeing.
This stress can include feeling overwhelmed by competing pressures of the job; struggling to find a positive work/life balance; to managing conflicts with colleagues, parents; how challenging behaviours in your classroom can impact on you. You might feel a benefit from talking to someone that knows what you’re going through. (EDIT: This is all before the impact of COVID-19, and how this will impact our profession on our return to school in the Autumn. These are uncertain times, so it’s perfectly reasonable that this may be causing you additional stress and anxiety.)
Personally, I felt unprepared (by my training) for just how stressful teaching can be – and after a couple of times where I was close to being ‘burned-out’, therapy really helped me make sense of my feelings, thoughts and behaviours.
As we all know, working with children is an incredible experience – and now, I’m so thankful to be in a position where I can offer support to teachers. It makes me so sad that teaching is losing so many incredibly talented professionals.
If things are stressful, please reach out for support. I hope that from my experiences in classrooms and staffrooms, and my recent training as a therapist, I can offer the support you need to keep doing what you do. Teachers do great work doing one of the most important jobs in society (we can all agree on that), but sometimes it’s hard to celebrate our amazing work.
Source: Education Support (2019) TEACHER WELLBEING INDEX 2019. Last accessed 5th August, 2020.