Coping with stress for teachers – how to get to the end of the year in one piece

Posted: 20 May, 2016

By: Annemarie Lombard

Section: Education

Coping with stress for teachers

We are quickly approaching the end of the year, and therefore the end of another academic year. It is a time when teachers need to ensure that all the syllabus requirements are met, setting and marking of exam papers are done, report writing is done and added to all that, they may have to organize concerts, plays, sporting events and other school related tasks. They have so many deadlines with such little time and few resources then need to go home to their husbands or wives, children and families that also need their attention.

Teachers rarely get the appreciation they deserve. Teachers take on more than just teaching our children – they nurture them, love them, and they are our first point of contact when there may be a problem. Teachers do not have a 7am-2pm job, theirs is a full day job. Teaching is a labour of love and the teachers that I have had the privilege of working with and who my children have been lucky enough to have been in their class are very passionate about what they do.

As an Occupational Therapist who has worked in school practices for 13 years, sometimes I wonder how teachers cope. I found it very stressful just to complete my assessments and reports, plan therapy and then still meet the needs of my family and home, even though I have very high sensory thresholds! This means that my resilience and capacity is enhanced because my system naturally can ignore sensory overload. How can their tasks be made more manageable and how can they feel that they are not about to crack under the pressure?

We appreciate teachers and know how critical their roles are in influencing our children’s learning as well as emotional development. Sensory Intelligence has dedicated a whole series of workshops to help teachers not only recognize sensory issues in the children they teach, but also to give them their own coping mechanisms and tools to meet the demands placed upon them.