I recently read the article on BBC News, “Stressed teachers being ‘reduced to tears'” by Hannah Richardson, BBC News Education Reporter, 22 October 2015 (see link below) and it really hit me. It made me think – teachers are crying out, literally, and what for? They are stressed.
This article is stating the lead up to the stress is due to the workload teachers are faced with. In the article, it is stated by Dr. Bousted, a writer for Times Educational Supplement:
“It seems that teacher stress is increasingly being regarded as par for the course and part of the job.”
I agree that the workload in teaching is part of the job, due to GTCS standards and requirements, paperwork must be done. However, that should not take away from the love, passion and fun that teaching should be for teachers undergoing current stress. Not only will the stress make you feel under pressure, it will have an impact on your learners as well as those around you – colleagues, friends and family.
Dr. Bousted continued,
“A newly qualified teacher, asking for help to deal with an impossible workload which took up every evening until 11pm and all of the weekend, was told by her line manager ‘that’s the way it is in teaching’.”
To say, “that’s the way it is in teaching”, is a harsh reality for some, however it does not have to be stressful, pressurised or looked upon negatively. As a current student teacher, I am still only partially aware of the workload required by qualified teachers. Of course, I have seen in practice the paperwork – planning, assessment and reports. My viewpoint is that if you are entering the teaching profession, it is profound you thoroughly understand what is expected of you – the teacher, the facilitator, the educator, the professional, the trusted and respected role model. In order to be these things, you have to do the work.
Dr. Bousted goes on to advise,
“Teachers, as professionals, expect to work hard but should not be expected to devote every minute of their lives to their work. Teachers need time to relax, to pursue hobbies, to talk to their families and friends. They need time to be human.”
Teaching is not all stress. The way I see it is that you will always have work to do. There will not be a day that comes when you will have completed everything on your ‘to-do’ list. But that is part of being a professional. It all comes down to commitment and dedication.