What is Stress? What Does it Feel like to Teachers?

Teachers – Do you suffer from Stress at Work?

When we say we are stressed it can mean several things:

  1. It can mean the environment you are in when we do not feel in control
  2. It can mean the physical reaction and feelings we sense when you have too much on your plate.

Either of these types of stress can feel pretty bad and even distract you from what you are expected to keep up.

Believe it or not, a bit of stress can improve performance since you are in a high state of alertness You can run that much faster, recall that significant fact during an exam, have even extra fun on a night out.

Feelings of stress are the evolutionary response in animals to something unexpected or dangerous. Cortisol and adrenalin are released into you body to help you face the challenge: maybe a tiger, a warrior, walking in a spooky woods, etc.

These hormones are meant for short powerful bursts of activity to save you.

In the classroom with the same rowdy bunch of kids every day,  a teacher may feel both types of stress mentioned above. Or you have taken on too much by not saying ‘No’ to the boss, which happened to me. Thousands of workdays in education are lost to stress. Teachers in the UK leaving the profession is rising and may impact on teacher shortages in the near future.

The downside of stress is that in a given situation for long periods, your adrenalin runs out, you begin to feel tired, anxious and depressed. Stomach upsets and headaches become frequent symptoms. When examined, the medical definition of stress involves antidepressants and talking therapy. These interfere with alertness and time factors to put more stress on a teacher.

Further down the line, a teacher may even face burnout, for a career that she or he began by loving.

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