With the shift in teaching methods and techniques, the role of teaching has expanded. It is no longer just about theoretical and practical learning, but they have to inculcate healthy habits and appropriate behavior for the epidemic in the pupils.
As we all know, teachers’ mental health is one of the biggest factors in a student’s academic growth, as the mental health of teachers and students is interrelated, which directly affects their learning and outcomes accordingly.
However, providing care can sometimes be challenging, especially when the caregiver is also dealing with stress and grief. The problem that a teacher faces emotionally is increased attention as his mental and emotional health is important in ensuring that the right kind of support is available to students who are weak and in need of much needed help.
We always talk about student stress and their mental health, but we don’t look at how teachers deal with their mental stress and what can be done to overcome this problem.
To get more clarity on this matter, Today, India interacted with a few schools and their advisors To understand the ways schools offer a helping hand as well as train teachers to deal with their emotional well-being and manage support for their students.
Reasons behind the psychological pressure of teachers
The word mental stress itself has many meanings and we always talk about it but never find out why. So, to deal with stress, first, make sure that one must find an answer to the question of “what”.
Teachers have noticed a lot of anxiety and stress in students at all levels in the classroom after the pandemic.
“Schools should focus on a stress-free, non-judgmental and supportive environment where teachers use a personalized approach to understand each student’s level and develop a personalized study plan,” said Sanyugita Sharma, Principal of Manav Rachna International School.
“I believe that schools have become very competitive. Parents’ expectations have skyrocketed and the school management wants teachers to give their services on all fronts so that the school ranks highly and becomes the first choice of parents,” Poonam Kushti, Principal of Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, Lucknow.
In this entire cycle, teachers are usually held accountable. They are under extreme pressure to fulfill and, as a result, are under tremendous pressure.
step by step process
“First of all, schools must create a culture in which teachers, despite high expectations, feel accomplished and happy with the work they do. And every employee should feel valued and appreciated,” she added.
“In the journey of growth, there will be mistakes. Schools should allow such mistakes and not issue from them. Communication should be positive and open and when responsibilities are delegated, teachers feel empowered and develop a sense of ownership,” she further added.
How can schools reduce psychological stress?
1. Employee Assistance Program
“Schools should offer all their teachers a staff assistance program that can run proactive and preventative programs to deal with stress management and other work/personal concerns that hinder productivity,” said Nora Sinha, Head of Wellbeing and Counseling at Shiv Nadar School Noida.
2. The normal well-being cycle
Additionally, schools can hold regular well-being sessions with internal or external counselors to help teachers identify their stress and offer stress management strategies.
3. Ongoing support from the elderly
Regular check-ups by report managers or chiefs also provide a sense of support and allow for openness, providing a safe space to talk about stress without being seen as incompetent from a professional standpoint.
4. Motivational spirit
Within the school, giving teachers autonomy in work and distributed leadership allows for job satisfaction and thus less stress.
Within the constraints, ensure that teachers have a fair workload and time to plan and do other “invisible” tasks.
“Remember that a happy employee is a productive employee,” she added.
5. Fun loving activities
Yoga forms part of daily practice; Music, dance, visual arts, sports, reading and creative writing were prominent and students participated with great enthusiasm.
6. Social gatherings
Finally, casual gatherings, celebrations, games, tea or a coffee meeting can be a major concern. Being a support system for every employee during good times and hard times can earn their loyalty and trust and help build a happy, stress-free school.
How has COVID-19 affected the mental health of teachers?
The pandemic has disrupted the education system around the world and everyone is unprepared for a different way of learning. Despite schools’ shift to online teaching, teachers have made continuous efforts to ensure that no child’s learning is interrupted.
Students lose social and emotional development, which only occurs by going to school with their peers and being with their teachers in person.
What is the best we can do now?
The hardships, uncertainty, and pain they felt at home made it even more difficult for teachers and students to overcome. Hence, after Covid-19, the need of the hour to:
Make each person feel valuable and show them the belief that they can accomplish anything with right planning and action.
Creating a stimulating and supportive environment for teachers where, along with educational workshops, we create for all of them fun experiences, team building, and social networks.
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