Teachers: Stressed or Not?

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Hafsa Ibrahim, Writer/Designer

As a student, stress is something that is often dealt with and talked about extensively. The constant flood of homework and assessments is a source of frustration and anxiety for most. But this is also true for teachers, as they are the ones who must grade each individual test and quiz, and give feedback on essays, projects and other class work. 

Teachers in different departments of education experience different levels of stress at various times of the year. The pressure to accomplish goals and meet the standards set by the curriculum can be quite demanding at times, and teachers hope to accomplish a lot with the little time they are given.

“Teaching is a job in which the boundaries are not clear, and teachers often want to always be doing more or being better, so the workload can balloon easily,” Sally Rauber, a ninth grade English teacher, said.

Rauber is not alone in her experiences of stress.

“Some days are better than others, but I think anyone working in the helping industries faces a great deal of stress,” Amy Hamilton, a guidance counselor, said. “My days are never the same and I never know what may present itself on a daily basis. I can plan my day out but then it can get totally disrupted because we have to be available to handle whatever comes our way. I have to be ready to deal with any scenario.”

Clearly, there is much adversity that comes with teaching and managing students on a day-to-day basis. So naturally, stress is inevitable. At times, stress can even reach extremes for teachers.

“I think the month of February for me is the most stressful,” Dave Panning, a math teacher, said. “I think it has much to do with the weather and cancellations, as well as having a long period of time between winter break and spring break where you just keep plugging away. ISTEP is usually during this month which changes the schedule and students often become a little restless.”

When stress comes about, as it often does, teachers have various methods to relax and decompress. Exercising, yoga and spending time with one’s friends and family seem to be effective coping mechanisms that teachers use. 

Despite the uncertainty and occasional tension associated with running a classroom, being a teacher is incredibly rewarding for some. 

“Being a teacher brings me a tremendous amount of joy,” Panning said. “Stress comes in when juggling curriculum with assessment, instruction and re-teaching while trying to meet the needs of every student, communicating with parents, and fulfilling requirements made by the state and administration. Each day is a new challenge but brings with it joy and satisfaction.”