Mental Health in Teachers.
Have you not listened to people speaking about the advantages of being educators: like coming back home early, or taking long holidays?
Just think about this though: students from all backgrounds, various learning stages, and different needs all put in one single classroom. One of the teachers always tries to do their best to bring out the best of their pupils, all day long. More than just that, Going through tests, making various teaching plans, getting resources, practising the best practices, interacting with parents, and taking care of their students’ overall integration are all a part of a teacher’s everyday routine. That’s what just a part of a teacher’s job looks like.
To this day, the role of educators is expanding to involve more jobs and responsibilities than ever before, involving building emotionally effective and healthy pupils.
Although, society almost always neglects to talk about or even discuss the mental and emotional wellness of teachers themselves. This negligence has led to two big issues – teacher burn out and a lack of good educators available as an outcome.
The reasons most often given for leaving three-quarters of teachers feeling stressed and tired was the start of new initiatives without correct training or professional development.
One way to curb this exodus and keep our nation’s best teachers in the classroom is to ensure they have the personal support and development they need to stay healthy and happy in both their personal and professional lives.
Here’s how you can be patient.
Teaching Can Be Pretty Stressful
Teaching, which comes with the responsibility of shaping young minds, is an extremely gratifying profession; to do it well, a lot of effort goes in. Though a school day is shorter than a standard office day, teachers put in extra hours after school. Creating an effective lesson plan and finally achieving the “learning objectives” set out in curriculum frameworks involves many stages. At each stage, a teacher aims to deliver to the best of their teaching abilities.
Here’s why you should think positive.
How To Support The Mental Health Of Teachers
According to a recent University of Phoenix survey on mental health, nearly one-third (31 per cent) of adults surveyed cited social stigmas as a barrier to receiving mental health care. This is a relevant and discouraging statistic for the education industry, as many teachers may also share the sentiment that seeking counselling signals weakness or an inability to handle their workload.
The reality is the majority of high-performing teachers struggle with the demands of their jobs; in fact, this struggle causes more than 50 per cent of them to burn out in less than five years. This stands as further evidence that our industry professionals have a vested interest in encouraging teachers to seek the help they need so they can be happier and more effective in their roles.
To provide our nation’s educators with the support they need, mental health resources like specialized counselling, continuing education programs, and community efforts geared toward wellness should be prioritized.
By making mental health care more easily accessible to educators, we can help them move forward as professionals and individuals while making strides to eliminate the stigma often associated with seeking mental health treatment.
Here’s how you can focus on success.
15 Mental Health Tips For Teachers
Make it a mental health priority
First and foremost, mental health and wellness best practices must be incorporated into training programs early on in teacher education. It’s up to higher education and state certification boards to take the lead in establishing these programs, to ensure that mental health becomes a priority in our schools and that all teachers are provided with the resources they need to succeed and stay healthy.
Here’s how you can courageous.
Seek out or develop resources, programs, and policies
District leaders also have a role to play in establishing mental health and wellness cultures in schools across the country. As a second step, school systems need to invest in the mental, physical, and social health of their most valuable asset–their teachers. By recognizing and rewarding teachers for all that they do (even the ‘little things), encouraging the use of small groups and counselling, and prioritizing mental well-being, administrators can have a dramatic, positive impact on the lives of their teachers.
Here’s how you can be a good listener.
Frame ‘mental health’ in your own mind in a healthy way
Don’t call it ‘mental health’ if a phrase like ‘well-being’ makes more sense.
Grow a healthy PLN
A strong professional learning network–both inside and outside of the school building.
Here’s how you can truly be focused.
Be in the right place
A job placement that they feel comfortable with–i.e., the ‘right fit for the teacher in terms of position, grade level, school policies, etc. Not every job is a fit for everyone. Well-intentioned people may counsel you that the ‘kids need you,’ but you have to take care of yourself or your teaching’s simply not sustainable.
As much as possible, clear boundaries between school and home life.
Avoidance of things–people, departments, committees, events, etc.–that are ‘toxic’ while developing strategies to deal with other not-toxic-but-still-challenging teaching situations
Emphasize your purpose
Remind yourself of your purpose as a teacher–why you became a teacher. If you’re unable to realize that vision, see if you can reconcile that vision with your immediate circumstance. If not, that gives you a hint of what may be should come next.
Here’s how you can develop humility.
Develop a growth mindset as a teacher
Growth mindsets matter for students and they matter for teachers, too.
Teach with gratitude
Teach with gratitude as much as possible.
If you’re able, start small
Focus on the good things and every day, try to have more good things than bad. (That’s a start.)
Take care of your body, too
Take care of yourself physically: exercise, meditate, do yoga, get enough sleep, etc. Whatever it takes for your body to feel good.
If you need help, get help
Don’t be a hero. If you need formal mental health support (in the form of therapy or medication), there’s no reason to hesitate. Get it. Why wait until you’re truly unhappy?
Here’s how you can be a team player.
Have a life outside of teaching
Have a life outside of teaching–one full of creativity and hope and people and possibility. No matter how noble teaching is, it’s not worth your well-being.
Don’t feel stuck
If possible, never get ‘stuck’ where you feel like you have to teach or ‘can’t quit.’ There’s always a way forward. Anytime anyone feels ‘stuck,’ it can convince you your situation is worse than it really is.
Here’s how you can have a good friend.
Teachers are working each day to build emotionally strong and healthy children, moulding the next generation of leaders and change-makers. As educators’ responsibilities continue to grow at a rapid pace, we must do all we can to support their mental well-being. We must support the ‘whole teacher.’
By providing the emotional support our teachers so desperately need and deserve, we can help them grow professionally and live happier lives.
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