Teachers report high levels of stress and low levels of autonomy according to a new survey of over 30,000 teachers in the United States: Quality of Worklife Survey.
Each month we ask our Top 12 Global Teacher Bloggers to share their perspectives on the issues that teachers around the world believe are the most critical. Following the new AFT and Badass Teachers survey, we asked our Global Top 12 Teachers to share their solutions to this question: "What are the quick ways to combat teacher stress in a classroom?"
First, please allow me to plug US based Pauline Hawkins' (@PaulineDHawkins) terrific new book that we recommend for educators and parents: Uncommon Core: 25 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in a Cookie Cutter Educational System. Pauline suggests that stress usually comes from forces outside, not inside the classroom, e.g. administrators putting pressure on teachers to teach to the test. Her experienced tips for relieving stress begin with an exercise regime that allow you to remain fully engaged with your students while ensuring you are also taking care of your own health... Read more.
Elementary school assistant principal Brenda Maurao (@bmaurao) acknowledges that the "new demands placed on teachers recently, including educator evaluation and high stakes testing have changed the climate in many of our schools." She shares five strategies that have helped the teachers in her building combat classroom stress including celebrating success and supporting a collaborative culture. Read more.
Karen Lirenman from Canada (@KLirenman) uses her twenty three years of teaching experience to offer some well practiced advice for teachers seeking to relieve stress. Positive uplift is key, from celebrating the little things to taking some time to yourself. Read more.
Craig Kemp from Singapore (@mrkempnz) acknowledges that teachers' workloads are increasing and that "time is an educator's most valuable resource." Craig offers an unexpected tip to combat stress in the classroom - humor and laughter. This comes in addition to some tried and true methods, such as staying organized and offering positive reinforcement. Read more.
US based Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) claims it takes "rock-solid habits of mind and life to be the kind of self-assured Captain who can weather the storm." When it comes to relieving stress, Vicki suggests accepting the worst potential outcome, and working to improve the situation from there. She also offers practical tips like drinking enough water and exercising. Read more.
New Zealand based Richard Wells (@iPadWells) recommends long-term work, such as fostering a learning environment that encourages confident students, rather than short term fixes. He gives some helpful ways to approach this including setting manageable personal goals for each student. Read more.
Last but not least, how does a Superhero dominate stress? US based Todd Finley (@finleyt) claims none of the traditional stress busters work for him - Instead, Todd recommends teachers beat stress like Batman would! Check out this superhero's exercise regimen which can help refocus your brain and allow you to better manage classroom pressure! Read more.
Tom Bennett, Joe Bower, Susan Bowles, Lisa Currie, Vicki Davis, Todd Finley, Pauline Hawkins, Craig Kemp, Karen Lirenman, Adam Steiner, Silvia Tolisano, and Richard Wells are The Global Search for Education 2014 Top 12 Global Teacher Bloggers.
Left to right top row: Adam Steiner, Susan Bowles, Richard Wells, Todd Finley
Middle row: Vicki Davis, Lisa Currie, C. M. Rubin, Pauline Hawkins, Joe Bower
Bottom row: Craig Kemp, Silvia Tolisano, Tom Bennett, Karen Lirenman
(Photo is courtesy of C. M. Rubin)
Join me and globally renowned thought leaders including Sir Michael Barber (UK), Dr. Michael Block (U.S.), Dr. Leon Botstein (U.S.), Professor Clay Christensen (U.S.), Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (U.S.), Dr. MadhavChavan (India), Professor Michael Fullan (Canada), Professor Howard Gardner (U.S.), Professor Andy Hargreaves (U.S.), Professor Yvonne Hellman (The Netherlands), Professor Kristin Helstad (Norway), Jean Hendrickson (U.S.), Professor Rose Hipkins (New Zealand), Professor Cornelia Hoogland (Canada), Honourable Jeff Johnson (Canada), Mme. Chantal Kaufmann (Belgium), Dr. EijaKauppinen (Finland), State Secretary TapioKosunen (Finland), Professor Dominique Lafontaine (Belgium), Professor Hugh Lauder (UK), Lord Ken Macdonald (UK), Professor Geoff Masters (Australia), Professor Barry McGaw (Australia), Shiv Nadar (India), Professor R. Natarajan (India), Dr. Pak Tee Ng (Singapore), Dr. Denise Pope (US), Sridhar Rajagopalan (India), Dr. Diane Ravitch (U.S.), Richard Wilson Riley (U.S.), Sir Ken Robinson (UK), Professor Pasi Sahlberg (Finland), Professor Manabu Sato (Japan), Andreas Schleicher (PISA, OECD), Dr. Anthony Seldon (UK), Dr. David Shaffer (U.S.), Dr. Kirsten Sivesind (Norway), Chancellor Stephen Spahn (U.S.), Yves Theze (LyceeFrancais U.S.), Professor Charles Ungerleider (Canada), Professor Tony Wagner (U.S.), Sir David Watson (UK), Professor Dylan Wiliam (UK), Dr. Mark Wormald (UK), Professor Theo Wubbels (The Netherlands), Professor Michael Young (UK), and Professor Minxuan Zhang (China) as they explore the big picture education questions that all nations face today.
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C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, "The Global Search for Education" and "How Will We Read?" She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld, and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.