Stress management is key for all aspects of life. However, I find that new teachers feel an enormous amount of stress as they enter the profession. That’s why one of my overarching goals is to help teachers gain some stress management techniques that will make their new profession much more enjoyable.
The philosophy behind my book Discipline Without Stress includes three objectives: 1) Empower students by communicating to them in positive ways, 2) Reduce coercion by offering choices, and 3) Have them improve by asking reflective questions. This same message comes through in my other books, Parenting Without Stress and Live Without Stress.
Unfortunately, too many teachers—new and seasoned alike—do not realize that they are in the relationship, marketing, and motivation profession. Here are some points to consider that will aid in your stress management in relation to teaching.
Relationship and Stress Management:
Students will not learn from someone they do not like. Especially with people in poverty, relationships are their most prized possession. This carries over into the classroom. The aphorism is true: People don’t care how much you know until they know that you care.
Marketing and Stress Management:
Today’s students have so many diversions that they do not come to school, sit at the teacher’s feet, and say, “Teach me.” Successful teachers create curiosity. They make learning meaningful, enjoyable, and challenging. And they motivate students to learn. In essence, teachers market the information that they would like students to learn.
Motivation and Stress Management:
Just the other day a teacher wrote, “I am in the motivation business.” She is. All teachers are, and the sooner you realize this the more you will invest your efforts into motivating your students to put forth effort in their learning. A simple way to do this—in addition to the techniques in the above paragraph—is to reflect on the reason that something is being taught. Then share that with students.
Keep these stress management ideas in mind as you embark on your career. And remember: You are joining a marvelous profession. Welcome aboard!