People interacting with children on a regular basis have to be healthy in terms of physiological aspects. It is highly essential to care about mental health and take different preemptive measures to eliminate all possible risks and threats for teachers’ mental well-being as they deal with children. Evidently, children’s minds are too vulnerable and can pick up all slightest teachers’ mood deviations.
For this reason, many facilities try to devise strategic plans and techniques to enhance working space for teachers so as not to undermine their emotional health. Unfortunately, teacher mental health state is poorer than that one of average representative of another profession (Kidger et al., 2021, p. 2). The reasonable strategic plan is necessary to implement in order to address and resolve the issue and eliminate all possible risks that might affect the mental well-being of both children and a teacher.
Factor Entailing Diverse Mental Disorder
It is evident that teachers face many problems during their teaching experience, as they have to maintain positive microenvironments in classes among pupils. They bear primary liabilities for children and their physical and emotional health and set a role model to follow. The issue of stress and anxiety seizuring teachers and coaches is omnipresent and much spoken at the present moment (Schussler, 2018, p. 3). There is a great rate of teachers asking doctor counseling to recover their well-being and build resilience and grit to challenging situations transpiring within the school frame (Schussler, 2018, p. 3).
As teachers report their mental issues on a regular basis, this issue entails several concerns, and it needs investigation in a short time (Schussler, 2018, p. 3). Evaluating problems referring to tension and stress faced by teachers, this critical writing makes an emphasis on strategic solutions and ways to minimize possible risks and threats teachers might face. Considering the above mentioned aspects, it is essential to integrate an alternative and multi-dimensional rationale aiming to improve teachers’ and students’ mental well-being. There are a lot of factors and reasons that might influence teachers’ mental health. These factors are life orientations and prospects and satisfaction after fulfilling their ambitions, hedonic direction (meaning happiness), and positive functioning concerning psychological aspects (Schussler, 2018, p. 14).
Different stressors during the working process may even result in an emotional burnout as response (Saloviita and Pakarinen, 2021, p. 1). It is essential to facilitate the enhancement of autonomy when it comes to interpersonal communication with class participants. It goes without saying that class microenvironment and climate impact teachers’ and students’ academic and personal experience and progress (Skaalvik and Skaalvik, 2017, p. 3). The teacher’s status in terms of their commitment and respect on children’s behalf has to be also considered, as the teacher has to perform as a mentor leading their team to success. There is a significant number of research investigating multi-dimensional aspects influencing teachers’ emotional health. The number one factor that is in charge of emotional welfare is school climate (Promoting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, 2021, p. 7).
A negative environment rampant with misunderstanding, miss respect, and constant arguments might cause a high rate of turnover among teachers and their absenteeism that might also affect students in a negative way. It goes without saying that an adjusted interaction frame between the teacher and their pupils might guarantee mutual support and assistance among participants of the communication frame. Evidently, teachers’ well-being and students’ welfare are interchangeable elements of the school environment, and they need assessing and altering in order to create a positive working space.
Primary Triggers and Factors Affecting Teachers During Work
As a rule, teachers, coaches, and leaders report several triggers and factors that entail stress, tensions, and anxiety. All these factors relate not only to teachers’ working experience but also to personal-related issues, such as social backgrounds, life orientations, and life prerogatives. Work-related factors causing anxiety and stresses embrace:
- Over-time work, such as extracurricular classes;
- A few possibilities of professional growth (a teacher-job is a fixed position, which predisposes a career growth in rare cases);
- Shifts in the leadership positions;
- The lack of respect on student’s behalf;
- Meager salaries;
- A monotonous and routine activity full of paperwork.
- Relationships with colleagues.
However, Schussler states three primary stress reasons: curriculum, students and administration, since these factors cause highest stress levels (2018, p. 14). If to start from one of these factors, curriculum, it is important to say that for a teacher it represents a serious amount of workload. For example, the study of Francesco Pace, shows that workaholism is directly connected to teacher’s estimation of self well-being (2019, p. 5).
Thus, the subjects of his studies were showing signs of depressed mood and lack of concentration, while being occupied with excessive amount of work. Moreover, another study, conducted by Tiphaine Huyghebaert, shows that working overload may result in sleeping problems and emotional exhaustion (2018, p. 3). While talking about teachers’ relation with administration, it is important to note that they mostly show supporting and loyal attitude towards the administration (Schussler, 2018, p. 17). However, lack of proper micromanagement, task delegating and open-minded approach may result in teacher’s feeling of discouragement and low-spiritedness (Schussler, 2018, p. 17).
Finally, students’ relations with teacher and their behaviour also affect teacher’s state of mental health. Thus, some teacher expresses the feeling of “equilibrium” loss during the lesson, if students show inappropriate or disrespectful behaviour (Schussler, 2018, p. 17). On the contrary, the understanding and respective students’ approach results in the improvement of teacher’s moral spirit. It is obviously clear that there is a distinct correlation between the conditions in which teacher is working, and the state of his mental health.
Strategies To Improve Well-Being Among Staff
Since the main factors, which affect teachers’ well-being, have been determined, it is necessary to formulate several strategies for addressing this problem properly. Undoubtedly, there is a need to deal with stressing factors, reducing the rates of mental problems, especially depression, among school staff. This issue must be addressed from the side of school administration, students, and the teachers themselves. The means of dealing with health problems must be implemented as a complex of programs and approaches. Therefore, the success of addressing this issue depends on the quality and quantity of various approaches to the situation.
Dealing with Time Management
Evidently, proper time management is the most important mean of dealing with excessive workload. It may seriously decrease the rates of overtime work if being properly provided by the school administration. However, adequate time management is one of the greatest challenges in the process of school management (Akinwale, 2017, p. 23). There are several factors of successful time management in school: task delegation, laissez-faire in task completion, minimization of so-called “time-wasters” and subjects’ prioritization (Akinwale, 2017, p. 23). Therefore, school authorities must provide the teacher with an adequate schedule and proper administration and micromanagement, which was mentioned prior.
Dealing with Students’ Behavior and Building the Resilence
Another important aspect is the educator’s ability to be stress-prone, which will help him to reduce stress rates. Resilience to stress consists of many factors, such as resistance to parents’ complaints, students’ inappropriate behaviour, or lack of school budget with colleagues (Stones and Glazzard, 2020, p. 59). Difficult relationships with colleagues may also be the case (Ogden and Hagen, 2018, p. 147).
There are several approaches, which can be implemented during the teacher’s preparation: BRiTE, Microteaching, and Stimulation (Kidger, 2021, p. 249). All these practices are created for the decoding the process of the lesson. They help to approximate various possible situations, which may occur during the lesson and thus prepare the educator for their occurrence (Iancu et. al, 2017, p. 3). Educator’s ability to be stress-prone must be a concern of school authorities, which must provide the teacher with proper preparation.
Promoting Positive Health and Well-Being
There are several approaches to addressing the matter of health promotion. It is possible to list eight principles of promoting health and well-being (Promoting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, 2021, p. 9). While some of them are focused on students specifically, several principles are aimed to help school staff as well. These principles include staff development to support their own well-being (and resilience as well), monitoring the needs of the staff, promotion of mutual respect and diversity, and targeted support (Promoting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, 2021, p. 9).
All these principles cannot be realized without proper management, which correlates with previously researched matters. It is obvious that repeated monitoring of staff’s condition will serve as method of prophylaxis of various disorders. Ethnical-related conflicts may occur even in modern day schools. Since these conflicts may result in both psychological and physical trauma, it is very important to promote the respective approach among students. Finally, targeted support will focus on specific person’s condition, and will analyse his previous medical history for the better understanding of current condition and more qualified treatment. Therefore, these principles are based on strategies of personalised approach, proper staff education, addressing the problem of cultural bias, and adequate leadership.
The Importance of Teacher’s Resilience
It is obvious that teachers’ resilience plays an essential role in the educational process and has a positive impact on his overall well-being. Resilience is a teacher’s possibility to drive through difficult and pressing circumstances, avoiding a serious amount of stress (Fiorilli et al., 2020, p. 143). The teacher’s ability to avoid stress allows him to actually address the situation without reacting to it, therefore, dealing with matter (Drew and Sosnowcki, 2019, p. 439).
Including all aspects mentioned prior, and the fact that stress is one of the main causes of teacher’s health problems, it is possible to say that teacher’s resilience and grit benefit to his mental health condition. Since poor mental health condition may lead to the development of various mental disorders and may also have a negative impact on a physical condition, it is imperative to develop the resilience among teaching staff. Thus, resilience is the trait that protects teacher from severe stresses, thus keeping his health in a good condition.
Teachers’ mental health plays a key role in the quality of education. A professional educator must be because his influence on the student cannot be denied. This research analysed and assed the main factors, which on influence school staff’s well-being. Thus, three essential aspects of an educational process require special attention: amounts of delegated work, teacher’s resilience, and adequate management. Needless to say, that school authorities, as well as teachers, must work together to be able to address the mentioned issues.
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