If you’re a teacher and feel stressed you’re in good company.
I recently asked my teacher-subscribers to fill out a Teacher Stress Survey to gauge how stressed they feel as a result of pressures at work and have been astounding (if a little worrying).
The survey consisted of just 8 simple questions such as ‘How often do you find yourself being irritable with friends, family and other people?’ and answers were given numerical values before being totalled at the end of the survey.
The results show that more than 75% of teachers who filled in the survey are suffering from medium or high levels of stress. The image below, for example, relates to a question about feeling unable to cope and this spread of answers was common to most of the questions.
However, what was more telling than the answers to the questions were the comments some respondents added at the end of the survey. These reflect how teachers REALLY feel about the pressure they are under. Most of those who submitted the comments below were in the ‘high stress’ bracket.
Here are a few examples from the hundreds of submissions we received…
I’ve decided to leave teaching in the uk at the end of the half term. It’s just not worth it
The stress I’m experiencing is greater than the score I got. There are other stressors that were not part of this survey.
My students are 90% of my stressors. Admin accounts for about 5% and the remainder is spread around.
I’m a 27, which doesn’t surprise me at all as I’ve been dealing with stress issues for many years and it isn’t getting better.
It is overwhelming
During my first years as a teacher I suffered of stress and I felt really frustrated daily.
I have just returned to work after some time off with stress. I am still very aware of the feelings of stress I am feeling and have observed others experiencing stress (some who are not even aware of it, just thinking it is “part of the job”) I think this is a very topical and important subject to address, thank you!
I’m surprised that I can still somehow function, despite pressure from the top, change of organisation, ongoing inspection and unsupportive management. Good luck to you all.
24 is my score. I was so stressed a few months ago that I resigned my job as a teacher. Now I am in the process of recovering and starting a new project as an online teacher.
I scored 23 and I’m still a trainee teacher…
My score: 22 but I really thought it would be a higher score. I’ve been teaching for 15 years and I’m ready to feel less stressed.
I scored 24 and that is after almost a year of only working three days a week. I hate to think what it might have been if I’d still been working five days a week.
I scored 27! I really need to do something…
26 – uh oh. I presume this is because I’m an NQT and very new to teaching. It will get better right?
Scored 26. I have felt depressed and had health issue over the last 2 years due to work stress. I felt there was very little support.
I’m nearing the end of my teacher training year and have found it almost impossible to keep up with all the paperwork
My score – 25! And it’s only Monday!
I scored 24 – not quite totally stressed but almost there. New maths syllabus (yet again) not helping at all.
25 – highly stressed.
18 – I thought I’d have come out as higher. As important as a job teaching is, when it comes down to it you have to put your health first.
It affects my enthusiasm for my work and follows me home too.
32 was my score I’m working on my master’s in order to move towards a much lesser stressed career than what I’m in now – where I feel I have no control over the pressure and time that my current job requires. Someone younger would be better suited to the job I have right now.
27 was my score. I work at the district level and attend stressful IEP meetings daily.
23, and that’s with anxiety medications
I feel very stressed about work – I don’t think these questions will indicate how stressed I am at work as they are mostly to do with how I cope at home
It is 2 years since I left full time teaching. I now do supply teaching. I had to leave full time teaching due to suffering severe anxiety, all bought on because of my job! I had to seek professional help.
Wow. Depressing eh?
What worried me most when I read the responses was how many people mentioned they had either left or were thinking of leaving the profession.
How sad! How awful that people spend years training for a profession they feel they will LOVE, enter it with passion and energy but then are gradually worn down by all the pressure and demands placed on them.
If any of the comments above resonate with YOU and you would like some EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE strategies to help you cope with stress please be sure to download the (FREE) short guide I’ve put together called Coping Strategies for Teachers .