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Believe it or not, I actually had someone come up to me at a party recently and say, "So,

how do you become a teacher? My son is thinking about teaching because he wants a job
that's easy and not stressul!"
I just wish I had a photo to show you the look on my ace when I heard this woman say
those words! My ace looked like a combination o outrage and the type o conusion you
eel when someone is speaking to you in a totally oreign language! I you're a teacher,
you probably had a similar e"pression when you read the words yoursel!
#bjectively, teaching has got to be one o the top $ most stressul careers in the world! In
a single hour, we can play many dierent roles% nurse, babysitter, counselor,
administrator, parental doormat, paper pusher, and maybe, i we're lucky, educator!
&ter my irst year o teaching, what surprised me most was the act that the least o my
problems are actually in the classroom dealing with the kids! 'hat's the easy part! 'he
beore school, lunchtime, and aternoon meetings, not to mention the obno"ious amounts
o paperwork, are enough to drive even the sanest teacher to the sanitarium! (or these
reasons and many more, teaching has the highest degree o career turnover o any
But, I don't need to tell all o you that! I'm preaching to the choir! )But I would, o course,
like to go ind that lady and tell her to read that last paragraph*+
#,, so teaching is stressul! But, how can we -uit our complaining and attempt to avoid
serious burnout? Is that even possible? .ell, to tell you the truth, I'm not -uite sure! But,
we certainly can try* &nd, summer may be the best time to talk about it!
/ead ahead or some humble tips that I think may be able to set teachers on a practical
path away rom burnout! 0ere are a handul o humble tips that may be easier said than
done! But, these ideas could potentially kick your stress levels down a notch! It's worth a
1! Ask for Help 2 'his is a really hard one or me to do! #ten, it seems ar easier to
just do it mysel than to e"plain how something should be done! 3arents, school
volunteers, riends, and students can be a valuable time2saving resource in your
classroom, but only i you take the time to ask them!
.ith a little planning and time invested up ront, you can set up routine times and
duties or the people available around you! 'his is a big one that I am really going
to work on mysel ne"t year!
And Let The Small Stuff Go...
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff 2 'his is a big piece o advice that applies in all areas o
lie! But, in teaching, we really need to put things in perspective! Is any one but you
really going to care i the border on that bulletin board is crooked? 4o you stage a
Broadway2style dramatic production each year or yoursel more than anyone else? 5et's
ace it, we're there to teach the children! Some things that don't all into the
teaching6imparting knowledge category just may not be worth a disproportionate amount
o time and eort! So, put down those ancy scissors that make the cool edge designs and
go back to the essentials! 7ust something to think about!
Don't Play the Teacher at Home 2 .hen I irst started student teaching, I was
appalled to ind that some o my new teacher habits were making their way into my home
and marriage!
(or e"ample, i my husband would do something annoying, I ound mysel giving him
my evil "teacher look!" 8ou know which one I mean* #r, I would say something like,
"5et's think about our choices!" .hen you're at home, give it up* 4on't scold, don't
correct, and don't try to be the model o perection! I've ound that many people e"pect
teachers to know everything and do everything perectly! 4on't all or that trap! 8ou're
human so act like it at home! .hen I lock my classroom door at night, I drop the Mrs!
5ewis act and become just plain "Beth!"
And Keep Your Larger Goals In Mind
Take Time for Yourself 2 .atch a stupid sitcom, listen to "un2teachery" music, talk
to an old riend on the phone, orget about the papers that need to be graded that evening!
#bviously, we can't do these things all the time! But, try not to beat yoursel up over it i
you do something un once in awhile! I try to do something purely or pleasure each day!
It really does keep me sane! Some nights, I get into bed early so I can read a book or un!
#n 'hursday nights, I watch "(riends" and ".ill and 9race," and I don't apologi:e or it!
& little time invested in joyul activities can go a long way towards avoiding serious
Remember Why You Teach 2 5ook past all o the annoyances and hassles, both big
and small, and remember why you became a teacher in the irst place!
I let a job in 0uman /esources at a (ortune $;; company to become a teacher! Some
days, I do -uestion my sanity! But, most o the time, I just have to think about how
useless and uninspired I elt behind that desk, staring at a boring spreadsheet, and I can
remember why I teach! I teach in order to make a dierence or children and to share
mysel with the world! ,eep your reasons or teaching close to your heart and you'll
reali:e that all o the stress really can be worth it!
&ter writing all o these anti2burnout tips, I eel a little more rela"ed already* I hope you
do, too! &nother way to beat the teacher blues is to communicate with other teachers!
'eaching can be such a solitary proession! So, consider stopping by our ,2< =ducators
Message Board and see what everyone's chatting about! 8ou might be surprised how
much a little chit chat with people who understand can help*
Stress Management
What is Stress?
Stress is the "wear and tear" our bodies experience as we adjust to our continually
changing environment; it has physical and emotional effects on us and can create
positive or negative feelings. s a positive influence! stress can help compel us to
action; it can result in a new awareness and an exciting new perspective. s a
negative influence! it can result in feelings of distrust! rejection! anger! and
depression! which in turn can lead to health problems such as headaches! upset
stomach! rashes! insomnia! ulcers! high blood pressure! heart disease! and stro"e.
With the death of a loved one! the birth of a child! a job promotion! or a new
relationship! we experience stress as we readjust our lives. #n so adjusting to
different circumstances! stress will help or hinder us depending on how we react to
How Can I Eliminate Stress from My Life?
s we have seen! positive stress adds anticipation and excitement to life! and we all
thrive under a certain amount of stress. $eadlines! competitions! confrontations! and
even our frustrations and sorrows add depth and enrichment to our lives. %ur goal is
not to eliminate stress but to learn how to manage it and how to use it to help us.
#nsufficient stress acts as a depressant and may leave us feeling bored or dejected;
on the other hand! excessive stress may leave us feeling "tied up in "nots." What we
need to do is find the optimal level of stress which will individually motivate but not
overwhelm each of us.
How Can I Tell What is Optimal Stress for Me?
&here is no single level of stress that is optimal for all people. We are all individual
creatures with uni'ue re'uirements. s such! what is distressing to one may be a joy
to another. nd even when we agree that a particular event is distressing! we are
li"ely to differ in our physiological and psychological responses to it.
&he person who loves to arbitrate disputes and moves from job site to job site would
be stressed in a job which was stable and routine! whereas the person who thrives
under stable conditions would very li"ely be stressed on a job where duties were
highly varied. lso! our personal stress re'uirements and the amount which we can
tolerate before we become distressed changes with our ages.
#t has been found that most illness is related to unrelieved stress. #f you are
experiencing stress symptoms! you have gone beyond your optimal stress level; you
need to reduce the stress in your life and(or improve your ability to manage it.
How Can I Manage Stress Better?
#dentifying unrelieved stress and being aware of its effect on our lives is not
sufficient for reducing its harmful effects. )ust as there are many sources of stress!
there are many possibilities for its management. *owever! all re'uire wor" toward
change+ changing the source of stress and(or changing your reaction to it. *ow do
you proceed?
1. Become aware of your stressors and your emotional and physical
,otice your distress. $on-t ignore it. $on-t gloss over your problems.
$etermine what events distress you. What are you telling yourself about
meaning of these events?
$etermine how your body responds to the stress. $o you become nervous or
physically upset? #f so! in what specific ways?
2. Recognize what you can change.
.an you change your stressors by avoiding or eliminating them completely?
.an you reduce their intensity /manage them over a period of time instead of
on a daily or wee"ly basis0?
.an you shorten your exposure to stress /ta"e a brea"! leave the physical
.an you devote the time and energy necessary to ma"ing a change /goal
setting! time management techni'ues! and delayed gratification strategies
may be helpful here0?
3. Reduce the intensity of your emotional reactions to stress.
&he stress reaction is triggered by your perception of danger...physical danger
and(or emotional danger. re you viewing your stressors in exaggerated
terms and(or ta"ing a difficult situation and ma"ing it a disaster?
re you expecting to please everyone?
re you overreacting and viewing things as absolutely critical and urgent? $o
you feel you must always prevail in every situation?
Wor" at adopting more moderate views; try to see the stress as something
you can cope with rather than something that overpowers you.
&ry to temper your excess emotions. 1ut the situation in perspective. $o not
labor on the negative aspects and the "what if-s."
4. Learn to moderate your physical reactions to stress.
Slow! deep breathing will bring your heart rate and respiration bac" to
2elaxation techni'ues can reduce muscle tension. 3lectronic biofeedbac" can
help you gain voluntary control over such things as muscle tension! heart
reate! and blood pressure.
Medications! when prescribed by a physician! can help in the short term in
moderating your physical reactions. *owever! they alone are not the answer.
4earning to moderate these reactions on your own is a preferable long5term
5. Build your physical reserves.
3xercise for cardiovascular fitness three to four times a wee" /moderate!
prolonged rhythmic exercise is best! such as wal"ing! swimming! cycling! or
3at well5balanced! nutritious meals.
Maintain your ideal weight.
void nicotine! excessive caffeine! and other stimulants.
Mix leisure with wor". &a"e brea"s and get away when you can.
6et enough sleep. 7e as consistent with your sleep schedule as possible.
. !aintain your emotional reserves.
$evelop some mutually supportive friendships(relationships.
1ursue realistic goals which are meaningful to you! rather than goals others
have for you that you do not share.
3xpect some frustrations! failures! and sorrows.
lways be "ind and gentle with yourself 55 be a friend to yourself.
'ips 'o =ase 'ension
.e all know what it eels like to get emotionally mangled by the weight o day to day
struggles! #ur bosses yell at us, our spouses yell at us 2 it eels like an endless circle
where getting ahead at the oice can leave us with so little energy or home that home
turns into battleield that leaves us with no energy or work!
Is mere survival all you can ask o a hassle2illed world ? >o! Stress, in act is not only
something you can beat, but a orce you can turn into an advantage! 8ou don't have to run
rom it, and you don't need any special stress management! 'he ollowing tested tips
show you how to combat stress 2 and win!
.ork #n 8our &ttitude!
'he most important point you can make about stress is that in most cases it's not what's
out there that's the problem, its how you react to it! ?hanging the way you think can
change a lie o stress and discomort to a lie o challenge and e"citement!
'hink &bout Something =lse!
4istract yoursel 2 to break the thoughts that are producing your stress, you must think
about something else! &nything will do, as long as it breaks the chain o bad thoughts!
'hink 3ositive!
'hinking about a success or a past achievement is e"cellent when you're eeling
uncertain, remind yoursel o all the good things you've achieved in the past, and tell
yoursel that you're going to do the same in the uture!
'ake & Mental @acation
Imagine yoursel lying in warm sand on a beach in the Bahamas, a cool wind blowing o
the ocean, the sur rolling in -uietly in the background! It's ama:ing what this can do to
help you rela"!
'ake 4eap Breaths
Belly breathing is what some people call it! It's an old and useul trick or deeating
an"iety and nervousness! 'he basic idea is act calm, be calm! .hen your e"periencing
stress, your pulse races and you start breathing very -uickly! (orcing yoursel to breathe
slowly convinces the body that the stress has gone, whether it has or not! 'he correct way
to breathe is abdominally 2 eeling the stomach e"pand as you inhale, and collapse as you
& lot o us respond to stress with muscle tension! Ideally, we'd preer to eliminate the
cause o the stress, but stretching the muscles at least reduces the sensation o stress 2 the
muscles rela", and we eel less tense!
'ake & 0ot Soak
0ot water works by deeating the stress response! .hen we're tense and an"ious, blood
low to our e"tremities is reduced! 0ot water restores circulation, convincing the body it's
sae and that it's ok to rela"! ?old water must not be used because it has the opposite
eect, and will increase tension! &n oice alternative might be running hot water over
your hands until you eel the tension starting to drain away!
/egular e"ercise will burn o some o the stress chemicals tension produces, and
e"ercise will tire your musles 2 a tired muscle is a rela"ed muscle!
5isten 'o Music
Music soothes as perhaps nothing else does! 8ou can use it in two basic ways 2 to rela" or
to inspire! >ew 2 &ge music is very rela"ing!
I trust these points will be o beneit to your wellbeing! 'hank you or reading my article!
The Effects of Stress on the Brain
By% 5eon =dward
.hen the human body irst e"periences stress adrenaline takes over and causes a
chain2reaction within the nervous system! 'he heart begins to beat aster, the si:es o the
blood vessels are changed, and the body actually prepares itsel or a rightening or
emotional event! =ven though the humans that are in e"istence today arent in constant
physical danger rom wild predators as our pre2historic ancestors were, we still
e"perience this amiliar ight2or2light reaction due to a great deal o dierent types o
'here are two main types o stress e"perienced by humans, either chronic or that which is
emergency2induced! 'he chronic type o stress can be particularly harmul to the brain
because o hormones and chemicals reerred to as glucocorticoids or 9?s! .hen the
body e"periences a rush o adrenaline which is accompanied by stress, a portion o our
brain called the adrenal corte" begins to release these 9?s which are useul or dealing
with the emergency2type o stressors!
?hemicals such as cortisol, hydrocortisone, and corticosterone act together to increase the
production o glucose, constrict blood vessels and essentially help our brains deal with or
regulate stress! 'he 9?s tell our brain either to calm down or to boost its levels o
awareness and reaction in order to deal with the issue at hand! 'hese glucocorticoids also
aect memory unctioning, especially in the hippocampus region o the brain!
.hile the 9?s may help us remember rightening or stressul events so that we are better
able to deal with them in the uture, they can also be harmul to the delicate neurons o
the brain! 3rolonged periods o stress or depression may actually lead to the damage or
even the death o certain neurons, especially those within the memory center o the brain!
It is important to remember that dierent people react dierently to stressorsA one person
may be able to move on rom a trying event while another may suer rom serious
psychological eects rom a similar event or situation! 5earning i your stress is chronic
or acute is critical or counteracting the negative aects it has on the brain! 'hose people
who are prone to anger, an"iety, depression, and who suer rom low sel2esteem are ar
more likely to e"perience damage to the brain than their calmer, more rela"ed peers!
Most every one o us e"periences bouts o depression or periods o the blues at some
point in our lives, but a person who is constantly angry or depressed may re-uire medical
or proessional assistance! .hile it may be possible to recover rom depression through
various means such as drug therapy or counseling, the long2term aects on the brain are
still largely unknown! 4octors have recently reported that as many as ity percent o
patients who e"perienced periods o major depression also possessed high levels o
cortisol, which as we know can have negative eects on the brain and cells!
& recent study conducted by 'he .ashington Bniversity School o Medicine located in
St! 5ouis, Missouri has shown conclusive evidence o damage to the brains neurons in
people suering rom depression! =ven those people who had been depressed years prior
to the testing still showed signs o brain damage, as much as 1C21$ percent cell atrophy in
their hippocampus, resulting in the loss o an ininite number o memory cells!
&erobic e"ercise is an e"cellent way to reduce stress and its negative eects on the brain!
By engaging in some sort o physical activity the body is able to rela", relieve levels o
tension and stress, and burn o nervous energy all at the same time! =ndorphins, which
are the eel good chemicals produced within the brain, are dramatically increased when
we e"ercise which in turn makes both the body and the mind eel better! >ot surprisingly,
sel2esteem can also even be lited with regular e"ercise as well as an increased overall
body image!
Vitamins For Stress: How To Stay Strong During This Period
By% =velyn 5im
It is important to take care o your body even when you are undergoing a period o
stress! 'hrough diet, you can make sure that you have an ade-uate supply o nutrients and
vitamins or stress because there are certain things that the body needs in order to cope!
="cessive stress can cause you to eel overwhelmed! 8ou begin to eel the eects o poor
health when you do not eat or sleep properly due to stress and your immune system
becomes low! 8ou may also e"perience re-uent headaches, constipation and panic
attacks i you ind that you just cannot cope with the situation!
It is inevitable that stress comes with modern living! 8ou may eel stressed in the oice
or at home dealing with your amily members! #r you may eel stress i you eel that you
are alling short o your desires or more wealth and success! It is thereore important that
you learn to cope with stress and view obstacles positively!
>utrients and vitamins or stress include%
1! @itamin ?! 8ou may be surprised to hear that the best place to get @itamin ? rom is
potatoes! >atural remedies that are rich in @itamin ? include the skins o baked potatoes,
raw green cabbage, cantaloupe, strawberries and citrus ruits such as oranges!
C! ?alcium! 'his mineral helps to regulate the rhythm o your heart, contractions o your
muscles and nerve impulse transmission! .henever your body needs to work hard to
ight stress, it will lose more calcium than usual! 9ood sources o calcium can be ound
in dairy products, tou u, almonds and broccoli!
D! Magnesium! Besides helping you to manage your stress level, it can also keep you
rom getting muscle spasms! Some o the best sources o magnesium are ound in green
vegetables such as spinach, nuts like almonds, as well as seeds!
E! #mega2D atty acids! 'hese not only help you manage your stress but they also reduce
your risk o developing coronary heart disease! ?oronary heart disease i not managed
well can lead to death! >atural sources o omega2D atty acids can be ound in salmon,
tuna, la"seed oil herring, mackerel, and walnuts! Since canned tuna does contain some
levels o mercury, you may wish to substitute this instead with other sources o omega2D
atty acids!
I you ind that you are not able to eat well through a regular during this period, consider
taking the above in the orm o vitamin supplements! .hile it is better to obtain these
vitamins rom natural sources, not even having them is worse! &lso, do ensure that you
choose good -uality supplements! 8ou want to give your body the proper nourishment as
you deal with the pressures at hand*
&rticle Source% http%66wellnessarticles!net
=velyn 5im posts about natural home remedies in her blog! &s a natural health
researcher, she hopes to educate her readers about using non2drug alternatives to treating
a variety o health conditions! 9ain some insight here www!>atural2/emedy2Secrets!com
Try to remember five situations either in class or before!after class which cause"
you stress# How "i" you "eal with it$ What was the outcome$
Situation or Stressor 0ow 8ou 4ealt .ith It #utcomeA 3ositive6>egative
What %f Any Stress&alleviatin' Tips Do You (se$
What Type of )*ercise Do You )n+oy$
When Was The ,ast Time You Di" This or How -ften Do you Do This$.
Apart /rom %n Teachin' Situations What!Who Are The 0ain Stressors %n Your
12e Honest34
5ow %n Your Teachin' ,ife What!Who Are Your 0ain Stressors$
/inally How 0any -f These Stressors Are 6ommon To 2oth 6ate'ories Above$
%"entify The Stressors in The /ollowin' Scenarios Su''est Solutions An"!-r )rrors
It is a warm summer day! & student reuses, point2blank to take part in any e"ercises or
even open his book, continually speaks @ietnamese to his riends and now takes out his
mobile, does some te"ting and then answers a phone call! 8ou have spoken to him on
many occasions but today you eel your anger rising