I recently participated in a professional development opportunity that focused on stress and health management for educators. Â Initially, I felt that my stress levels were a little elevated due to the rapidly approaching STAAR tests, but overall felt I had things â€śunder controlâ€ť.Â However, the more I began to reflect upon some of the questions presented, I started to see the different types of stressors in both my personal and professional life. Quickly realizing the need to take a step back and restructure my priorities, I realized the root of the problems: time.
There are days when stress at school can feel almost overwhelming.Â Educators are hit with central office demands, budget constraints, test anxiety, disciplinary issues and so much more.Â Ultimately, it is all negatively affecting our physical and mental health. Over the course of my career, Iâ€™ve personally developed stress-related health issues such as high blood pressure.Â Fortunately, with proper diet, exercise and medication, I have it under control.Â Yet, Iâ€™ve also seen colleagues suffer from more serious afflictions including nervous conditions, heart attack and stroke.
One tool that I recommend to fellow educators who may feel the need to get their stress levels under control is, â€śThe Frazzled Teacherâ€™s Wellness Plan: A Five Step Approach for Reclaiming Time, Managing Stress, and Creating a Healthy Lifestyleâ€ť, by J. Allen Queen and Patsy S. Queen.Â Â It is imperative that we educators take care of our health!Â If kids arenâ€™t taught by teachers who mentally and physically feel up to the task, negative trends could develop in student achievement.Â And, that is precisely what we are working so hard to prevent.