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Undeniably, being a teacher causes immeasurable amounts of stress on some days.

You have several classes of potentially grumpy children and hormonal teenagers to manage every day, teetering piles of homework to mark, lessons to plan, and somehow have to fit in your normal life around that. Despite that, the results are hugely rewarding – you need to cope with the journey to get there.

So saying, here are some tips and techniques for managing the stress of being a teacher.

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Prioritize your tasks

Keep an orderly list of all your tasks and prioritize the ones that need doing first. You can do a few things to ensure that this is done optimally.

  • Colour code each task
  • Check and update the list regularly
  • Group tasks with common themes so you can complete the bulk of them in one go

Alternatively, you should check out the Eisenhower Matrix, a simple method of judging tasks based on their urgency and importance.

Move on from past mistakes

Getting caught up on things you’ve done wrong in the past can be easy. Whether it be how you taught a lesson or how you dealt with a student’s problem, you can soon find yourself running around in circles as you overthink it. If you feel overwhelmed by remorse, guilt, or uselessness, perhaps consider researching and employing mindfulness techniques to help calm such negative feelings.

Don’t waste your time on insults

Students or colleagues often say something negative out of their negativity or frustration – very rarely will they genuinely mean it. If you feel like you’re getting wrapped up in the hurt that these insults were intended to cause, there are some things you can do to help:

  • Give the person involved the benefit of the doubt
  • Focus your attention on something positive instead
  • Once the situation has been defused, approach the person and ask them to explain why they said what they said

Don’t keep your emotions bottled up

Because of long teaching hours and extra planning on the side, it can be hard to find the time to vent your emotions properly. If possible, talking it through is the best option, whether with a partner, friend, or colleague. If this isn’t possible, you should take a form of physical exercise to release this pent-up upset in another way.

Don’t commit to anything you’ll later regret

Especially in the early days of your teaching career, you can feel compelled to take on more tasks than you can handle. This could lead to more stress than necessary and damage your job enjoyment. It may be tough initially, but it’s good practice to learn when to say no, as it doesn’t feel like you have to reply to a request hastily. It’s perfectly acceptable to take a bit of time to weigh up the pros and cons before you reach a decision.

Here are a few more tips on how to cope with teacher stress:

  • Reduce temporary stimulants and sedatives such as drinking, smoking, and recreational drugs. They’re only temporary and will bring your mood down lower in the long run.
  • Check up on your students’ well-being. If a student misbehaves, it could be a cry for help or attention. Looking after your students is looking after yourself.
  • Think positively. A commonly known way to deal with stress is to see the situation positively. After all, you’ll come out stronger after enduring the issue.