Are teachers too stressed to teach our children?

46% of teachers face high stress levels on a daily basis. Is it any wonder some of our children may find it difficult to remain calm and concentrate when the people who are supposed to be helping them shape their future may be struggling? More than a third of school staff have seen a rise in mental health issues in their colleagues.  How can schools to look after our children effectively when there are so many issues that need addressing with staff?

High stress levels can increase the risk of mental health conditions, especially when experienced on a daily basis. According to an article written in Times educational supplement, when teachers are stressed their students can begin to show lower levels of academic performance and social adjustment. As a whole, stress in teachers is a crisis which needs to be addressed before it affects negatively educational outcomes in students and further impacts teachers' mental health and wellbeing.

According to a study in Social Science and Medicine, when teachers are stressed their students are stressed. The research consisted of assessing teacher burnout levels (exhaustion from work) in comparison to cortisol levels (linked with stress) in students. The authors concluded that teachers who experience higher level of burnout reported to be more stressed, less effective in teaching and classroom management, less connected to their students and less satisfied with their work. In short, teachers are not teaching to their best of their ability due to stress, which means that our children aren’t learning to the best of theirs.

Increasing burnout in teachers is not only affecting our children's learning, but also their own stress levels. From the same study, the authors noted that students with teachers feeling stressed and exhausted are more likely to have heightened cortisol levels, suggesting higher stress levels. This negatively impacts academic progress as those experiencing high levels of stress tend to be more likely to struggle academically.

Teacher burnout is a well- known crisis and while the relevant organisations are doing what they can to reduce the workloads, increase the pay and more, Thrive: Feel Stress Free offer digital intervention relevant to both teachers and students. Thrive supports detection, intervention and management of common mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety and mild depression through a range of clinically proven techniques including CBT and mindfulness. Though this doesn’t solve the issues teachers may face daily, it is a huge step in the right direction - allowing those people who are going to be shaping our children’s future to reduce their stress levels - benefiting themselves and our children. 

You can download ‘Feel Stress Free’ via thrive.uk.com