Teacher Stress

Hello my friends!

The National Union of Teachers (UK) indicates the ways in which stress manifests itself:

“The effects of stress can be manifested in many different ways including physical effects such as raised heart rate, headache, dizziness, palpitations, skin rashes, aching neck and shoulders and lowering of resistance to infection. Over a long period stress may contribute to chronic health problems such as heart disease and stomach ulcers. Various psychological and behavioural changes affecting work performance and interpersonal relationships may also be noticed by stressed individuals’ colleagues, including inability to concentrate, overworking, irritability or aggression, becoming withdrawn or unsociable, or reluctance to accept constructive criticism and advice”.

The main causes of stress in the workplace:

Balancing multiple demands

Work overload

Lack of time

Inadequate resources

Inadequate administrative support

Inclusive classes

Student misbehaviour

On-going changes

Inadequate professional development

Teaching unions are warning of an “epidemic of stress” as research revealed that 3.750 teachers were signed off on long term sick leave last year because of pressure of work, anxiety and mental illness (The Guardian, 2018).

Dr Mary Bousted joint general secretary of the National Education Union, warned of an “epidemic stress”: “Teachers work more unpaid overtime than any other profession. Classroom teachers routinely work 55 hours or over a week. School leaders routinely work over 60 hours a week”. She added that schools had been bombarded with constant changes to the curriculum and assessment regimes. “It has been a relentless policy onslaught which has left teachers rocking from stress and exhaustion” (Guardian, 2018).

Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, said the onus was on employers to support staff. “In small doses, stress can be a good thing, helping us focus and meet deadlines”, she said. “But prolonged exposure to stress, day in, day out, can lead to serious physical and mental health problems”.

What can be done to reduce teacher stress?

School leaders can help reduce teacher stress by cultivating working conditions that support teachers. The working conditions that lead to the most job satisfaction involve administrative and collegial support. Schools can also help reduce teacher stress by promoting effective teacher-student interactions. One way to accomplish this is by using strategies that reward positive student behaviours. Teachers in schools with that utilize positive strategies on a schoolwide basis to support behavior experience significantly lower levels of burnout. A comprehensive self-care plan may help teachers identify signs of stress and improve their stress management skills (The Conversation).

Are you stressed out? Do you feel trapped by your schedule? Do you feel exhausted? Are you constantly involved in power struggles with some students? Is there a lack of encouragement or practical support from colleagues?
This complete teacher emotional resilience course will show you exactly:
●How to enhance your self-awareness.
●How to dissolve negative emotions and irrational thinking patterns.
●How does self -talk affect your emotions.
●How to better manage stress and avoid burn out.
●How to manage your anger so you can relieve inner stress and experience more peace, better relationships and better health.

●How to manage your time.

Teacher Emotional Resilience Course includes:
– 6 videos
– 31 power point presentations with powerful relaxation techniques that teach you step by step how to relax in 5 or 10 minutes
– self-awareness questions
– emotional resilience and mindfulness exercises, worksheets
– certificate of completion.
Who is the Target Audience?
Anyone feeling stressed and overwhelmed at school or at home. Teacher Emotional Resilience Course is suitable for all school staff, teachers, teaching assistants, special needs teachers, school volunteers.
Live more peacefully by enrolling today!

Enroll in Course

https://teacher-emotional-resilience.thinkific.com

Best wishes,

Vassiliki Plomaritou

MA(Ed), BA (Hons), Adv.D.Sp.Ed., PGCert.Sp.Ed., Adv.D.C.S., CertCBT, S.A.C.Cert.

 

The Effective Teacher

Hello my friends!

I just finished a wonderful book: 12 characteristics of an effective teacher by Robert J. Walker. Inspirational Stories of Teachers Who inspired Others to Become Teachers. I would like to share with you an amazing story which made me cry!

I love you by Angela Rembert.

“The teacher who had the most profound positive effect on my life was my sixth grade teacher, Mrs Beatrice Marsh at North Birmingham Elementary School. She possessed several characteristics that made her the epitome of an effective classroom teacher. Each morning she would begin her class with a personal experience about her education. She had the ability to create an atmosphere in her classroom that made her students eager to learn.

I often reflect on the words Mrs Marsh would say to us at the end of each school day, ” If nobody has told you I love you today…I do!” Those words made the difference in my attitude and my determination to make the teacher I idolized proud”.

What a wonderful story!

Love always,

Vassiliki  xxxx

Stress Resilience

Hello my friends,

“The book of joy” is a wonderful, uplifting and inspirational book by two special people Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. I want to share with you the following excerpt:

“Psychologist Elissa Epel is one of the leading researchers on stress, and she explained to me how stress is supposed to work. Our stress response evolved to save us from attack or danger, like a hungry lion or a falling avalanche. Cortisol and adrenalin course into our blood. This causes our pupils to dilate so we can see more clearly, our heart and breathing to speed up so we can respond faster, and the blood to divert from our organs to our large muscles so we can fight or flee. This stress response evolved as a rare and temporary experience, but for many in our modern world, it is constantly activated. Epel and her colleague, Nobel Prize–winning molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn, have found that constant stress actually wears down our telomeres, the caps on our DNA that protect our cells from illness and aging. It is not just stress but our thought patterns in general that impact our telomeres, which has led Epel and Blackburn to conclude that our cells are actually “listening to our thoughts.” The problem is not the existence of stressors, which cannot be avoided; stress is simply the brain’s way of signaling that something is important. The problem—or perhaps the opportunity—is how we respond to this stress. Epel and Blackburn explain that it is not the stress alone that damages our telomeres. It is our response to the stress that is most important. They encourage us to develop stress resilience. This involves turning what is called “threat stress,” or the perception that a stressful event is a threat that will harm us, into what is called “challenge stress,” or the perception that a stressful event is a challenge that will help us grow.

The remedy they offer is quite straightforward. One simply notices the fight-or-flight stress response in one’s body—the beating heart, the pulsing blood or tingling feeling in our hands and face, the rapid breathing—then remembers that these are natural responses to stress and that our body is just preparing to rise to the challenge”.

Love always,

Vassiliki  xxxx

 

 

A simple proven way to overcome stress

Hello my friends!

Psychologist Guy Winch notes that it is both possible and hugely beneficial to stop negative thoughts. “Studies tell us that even a two-minute distraction is sufficient to break the urge to ruminate in that moment,” he says. In this context, Winch uses the term “rumination” to describe the act of dwelling on negative experiences, circumstances, or worries. Though it’s easy to slip into rumination, you can just as easily change the channel in your mind. Every time you catch yourself beginning to worry, stop and intentionally think about something else. The mental distraction might be something completely unrelated, such as noticing the beauty around you or remembering someone’s act of kindness. You can take this technique a step further by using mental distraction to solve or cope with the issue that’s worrying you. Reframing the way you feel about the source of worry may allow you to see an opportunity to resolve the issue.

It’s particularly easy to give in to self-criticism when dealing with challenges. But Carol Dweck, Stanford professor, researcher, and author of the book Mindset, says that one or two simple words can help your mind refocus on potential rather than failure or frustration. “Just the words ‘yet’ or ‘not yet,’ we’re finding, give kids greater confidence and a path into the future that creates greater persistence.” Yet. Not yet. “How you interpret challenges, setbacks, and criticism is your choice,” Dweck notes. “You can interpret them in a fixed mindset as signs that your talents or abilities are lacking. Or you can interpret them in a growth mindset as signs that you need to ramp up your strategies and effort, stretch yourself, and expand your abilities. It’s up to you.” Rather than berating yourself for failing to achieve a goal, remind yourself that you just haven’t accomplished it yet. The power of yet is that it allows you to believe in your potential for success. It’s a tiny word that could make a huge impact on your mind-set.

Love always,

Vassiliki xxxx

How you relate to yourself affects your potential

Hello my friends!

I love this book of Emma Seppala. The title is “The Happiness Track. How to apply the science of happiness to accelerate your success”. It is smart and compassionate!

“The truth is that most of us are not kind to ourselves in our quest for success. We’ve been taught that to be successful, we need to play to our strengths, so we had better find out the things that we are innately good at and stick to them—because we are unlikely to overcome our weaknesses. If I am bad at math, I probably shouldn’t go into accounting or engineering. If I’m not a people person, I had better stay out of sales. And when we do run up against our weaknesses, we feel that we have to be self-critical. Self-criticism
will keep us honest about our shortcomings and ensure we stay motivated and on our toes. By always demanding better of ourselves, we’ll do our best. Recent scientific research suggests that these ideas are myths. There is no doubt that knowing your strengths and weaknesses is a good idea. However, the way you approach them can set you up either for success or for failure. The way you view yourself (do you believe your strengths are limited?) and the way you respond to failures (are you your worst critic, or can you treat yourself as you would a friend?) have a tremendous impact on your personal and professional lives. Understanding that you can build new strengths rather than limiting yourself to the ones you perceive that you have and being self-compassionate rather than self-critical will help you to be resilient in the face of failure, to learn and grow from your mistakes, and to discover opportunities you otherwise would never have found. As a consequence, you will feel grateful, be far happier, and your chances for success will increase manifold”.

Love always,

Vassiliki  xxxx

The story of a blind girl

Hello my friends,

I would like to share with you a story I found online which teaches us that we all have to be grateful every single day.
There was a blind girl who hated herself just because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She said that if she could only see the world, she would marry her boyfriend.
One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her and then she could see everything, including her boyfriend. Her boyfriend asked her, “Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?”
The girl was shocked when she saw that her boyfriend was blind too, and refused to marry him. Her boyfriend walked away in tears, and later wrote a letter to her saying:

“Just take care of my eyes dear.”

This is how human brain changes when the status changed. Only few remember what life was before, and who’s always been there even in the most painful situations.
Life Is A Gift
Today before you think of saying an unkind word–
think of someone who can’t speak.
Before you complain about the taste of your food–
think of someone who has nothing to eat.
Before you complain about your husband or wife–
think of someone who is crying out to God for a companion.
Today before you complain about life–
think of someone who went too early to heaven.
Before you complain about your children–
think of someone who desires children but they’re barren.
Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn’t clean or sweep–
think of the people who are living in the streets.
Before whining about the distance you drive–
think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.
And when you are tired and complain about your job–
think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job.
But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another–
remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker.
And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down–
put a smile on your face and thank God you’re alive and still around.
Life is a gift – Live it, Enjoy it, Celebrate it, and Fulfill it.

Love always

Vassiliki xxxx

Want a young child to “help” or to “be a helper”? Word Choice Matters.

My dearest friends, hello!

Can a subtle linguistic cue that invokes the self motivate children to help? In two experiments, 3- to 6-year-old children (N = 149) were exposed to the idea of “being a helper” (noun condition) or “helping” (verb condition). Noun wording fosters the perception that a behavior reflects an identity-the kind of person one is. Both when children interacted with an adult who referenced “being a helper” or “helping” () and with a new adult (), children in the noun condition helped significantly more across four tasks than children in the verb condition or a baseline control condition. The results demonstrate that children are motivated to pursue a positive identity. Moreover, this motivation can be leveraged to encourage prosocial behavior.
The study, by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, the University of Washington and Stanford University, appears in the journal Child Development. The researchers carried out two experiments with about 150 children aged 3 to 6 from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds who came from middle- to upper-middle-class homes. In both experiments, an adult experimenter began by talking to children about helping. The only difference between the two studies was that in one, helping was referred to with a verb (e.g., “Some children choose to help”), while in the other, it was referred to with a noun (e.g., “Some children choose to be helpers”). Then the children began playing with toys. While they were playing, the adult provided four opportunities for the youngsters to stop and help the experimenter – to pick up a mess, open a container, put away toys, and pick up crayons that had spilled on the floor. In each case, the children had to stop playing to help.
Children who heard the noun wording (helper) helped significantly more than children who heard the verb wording (help). When the experimenter talked to youngsters about helping, using verb wording, the children didn’t help any more than when the experimenter never brought up helping at all.
“These findings suggest that parents and teachers can encourage young children to be more helpful by using nouns like helper instead of verbs like helping when making a request of a child,” said Christopher J. Bryan, assistant professor of psychology at UC San Diego, who worked on the study. “Using the noun helper may send a signal that helping implies something positive about one’s identity, which may in turn motivate children to help more.”

Love always,
Vassiliki  xxxx

EIGHT THINGS GREAT TEACHERS DO DIFFERENTLY

My friends, hi!

I would like to share with you this great article written by Samantha Twiselton published by The Conversation. Samantha Twiselton is a Director of Sheffield Institute of Education and Professor of Education at Sheffield Hallam University.
The ten shortlisted teachers from across the globe were announced in a video from Bill Gates and they are all outstanding individuals making a significant difference to the lives of their students and their communities – some of which are in very challenging contexts.
Here are eight traits that help to make the best teachers:
1. They embrace their powers.
The best teachers recognize and embrace their potential to have a transformative impact on the wider future of the nation, and beyond. By promoting positive values, including tolerance, understanding and inclusion, this sense of moral purpose is the engine that drives the best teachers.
2. Encourage pupils to shoot for the stars.
Good teachers set themselves and their pupils aspirational targets and have belief, confidence and a clear vision of where they are heading – both for the immediate future and the longer term.
Students who have experienced what they consider a “great” teacher will often use the word “inspiring”. Having the opportunity to inspire and be inspired by young people is something all teachers should actively seek – for themselves and their students.
3. Face challenges head on.
Great teachers plan how to anticipate, address and learn from challenges – even the most difficult ones. Only by going through this process can a teacher overcome an obstacle, learn from it and continue to move forwards.
In the same way, good teachers also address and challenge any negatives. This is important, because of course, some pupils have negative thoughts about school and their education. And it is part of a teacher’s development to understand the factors contributing to this. If teachers don’t, then they cannot expect positive change to happen.
4. Know how to listen.
Teaching, like other professions, can at times be guilty of navel-gazing and introspection. This can mean those with the most important opinions – the learners and students themselves – can sometimes end up being ignored.
We always ask our student teachers what they think makes a good teacher – most commonly we hear qualities such as making time, enthusiasm and being knowledgeable and supportive. We listen, and we encourage our teachers to listen to their pupils too.
5. A love of learning
Great teachers demonstrate a relentless pursuit of learning for themselves – as well as being deeply fascinated by the learning of others. This can be engaging in new ideas, building knowledge and developing broader perspectives on an academic and social level. As well as the confidence to admit you can never know it all.
6. They can adapt and overcome.
We live in a fast paced world, with teaching often feeling the effects of that relentless pace. An acceptance or acknowledgement of this and the ability to respond to change accordingly makes for a much more effective teacher. And a great teacher knows every day is different – sometimes exciting, often challenging – but ultimately worthwhile.
It’s also important that teachers are able to take an evidence-based approach to how they respond to change. Not all new initiatives are equal and teachers need to be able to critically interrogate them before deciding how to proceed.
7. Are able to connect the dots.
The depth and breadth of knowledge and skill needed to be an excellent teacher is often underestimated. Not only do teachers have to have a good understanding of – and ideally passion for – the subject(s) they teach, but they also need to know how to make this accessible and meaningful for their pupils.
To do this they need to understand a complex and massively interrelated range of factors. This includes child development, cognitive science, social, emotional and behavioral sciences and the practical implications of these – in terms of how pupils behave and what they need to succeed and thrive.
They also need to be able to combine these different kinds of knowledge, effortlessly and automatically to make the best decisions on a moment-by-moment basis as learning unfolds. It is not surprising that this can feel exhausting for teachers (but also extremely rewarding) at times.
8. They recognize the privilege.
This is not a profession that should be entered lightly, it is not for the fainthearted, or for those who are trying to make a quick fix. It is a privilege to be a teacher, to have the opportunity to impact positively on the lives of so many young people, their families and ultimately their communities.
Teachers get to make a difference to the lives of children and young people – improving their life chances and helping to secure their futures. And in this way, teachers have the most important job of all.

Love

Vassiliki xxxx