There is no doubt that teaching is among the most stressful professions in the world. However, when the stress becomes so severe to interfere with your emotional and physical wellbeing, there is a need for intervention. Severe stress can potentially disrupt the good relationship between teachers and their students. In fact, a study reveals that stressed teachers are not only less effective in classroom management and teaching, they are also less connected to their students.
Besides, teachers take on multiple roles for the elementary classroom students, which include parental roles and being their role model. This goes to show that a stressed teacher can adversely affect the psychological well-being of the pupils. It is, therefore, imperative to manage stress lest you end up taking it all out on the kids. Here are some helpful hacks for dealing with stress in an elementary school classroom.
Focus on Things that are in Your Control
There is nothing wrong with wanting to control how your day goes; spending some time planning to see that your classes run smoothly is important. However, you shouldn’t try to control everything. For instance, you may want to focus on helping the pupils go through the assigned material within the speculated time frame. This is as opposed to allowing the disruptive or inattentive behavior of a particular student to frustrate you and thus prevent you from accomplishing your goals.
Learn to look at things objectively; for example, rather than assuming that students are intentionally interfering with your lesson, try and accept that kids are naturally irritating. The best way to deal with stress is to analyze the situation fearlessly and subsequently accept the outcome. This should be closely followed by devoting effort and time on improving upon the worst situation, having already accepted it mentally.
Keep a Joy Journal
Seeking joy is akin to searching for a certain color. If, for instance, you’re looking for the color pink, you will start to see it everywhere you look. Likewise, start observing and recording things that bring you pleasure in your quest to become happier. You may, for example, selectively think about all the fun you had playing with your kids or the unexpected phone call you received from a long-lost friend. Focusing on your moments of joy rather than feeling blue all the time will help to keep stress at bay.
Towards this end, consider setting the alarm to remind you about going to bed. Sleep deprivation makes it hard to think; it might even harm your health in addition to worsening your mood. In essence, always aim at getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night on the bare minimum.
Without appropriate training, most teachers dismiss the early signs of frustration and the onset of stress, until they ultimately burnout and overreact. Early recognition of emotions like anger and frustration might afford you the much-needed opportunity to diffuse them. Successful management of the stress, distractions, and conflicting priorities is highly dependent on your ability to adopt rock-solid habits of life. This will ultimately make you a self-assured captain of the classroom; someone who can comfortably weather the storm.