While this is not an “ed tech” topic, I thought it was important to share. I think we've all known friends and family who have suffered from mental health challenges. If this post helps one educator deal with such a challenge, then it was clearly worth sharing. – KW
You know how stressful the teaching job is, yet the people who claim you’re not stressed have never taught in their life. Teaching is a job that tends to be undervalued and a bit vilified, with some teachers being thrown under the bus for the flaws in the education system. Here are some reasons why your career as a teacher is stressful, and what can be done about it.
Teaching Uses a Lot of Brain Power
Teaching is a job that is extremely mentally stimulating. On one hand, this is a good thing. The more you use your brain, the better it will be as it ages. That’s why you have older teachers who are still sharp and can run laps around their students.
However, burnout is real. Cramming facts in your head to teach students, trying to have a lecture planned every school day, answering questions, trying to figure out how to make your lessons interesting and fun for your audience, the list goes on and on. It can cause mental exhaustion, and even though teachers have breaks, it sometimes isn’t enough.
Teachers are Bullied
As a teacher, you are often blamed for many things. If one of your students is failing, their parents may yell at you about why you failed their child. Students may often mock you, and think of you as the bad guy. Even if you are the nicest teacher in the world, some children want to make you into the bad guy.
And as we said before, too many teachers are thrown under the bus. Sometimes, a teacher has to work off of the materials provided, and it’s difficult to make some of that material presentable, no matter how brilliant you may be.
All this ridicule can definitely take a toll on your mental health, even if you believe you shouldn’t take it personally.
Teachers Are Overworked
This goes along with the first one a bit. As a teacher, the work is never done. Even as you dismiss the class, you still have to grade papers, answer questions, plan lessons, and when you think you’re done, you’re not.
Teachers Are Sleep Deprived
If you get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, you are definitely one of the lucky ones. Plenty of teachers find themselves not getting enough sleep. It’s understandable as to why. You can be up all night grading papers and only get a few hours of sleep. You may think that taking energy drinks and being on your feet can reverse the negative effects of sleep deprivation, but this isn’t the case. Even if you feel like you’re used to the insomniac lifestyle of a teacher, you are still going to suffer from health effects, crashing, and no matter how much you try to catch up on sleep, it’s never enough.
Teachers Don’t Seek Help
As teachers, we can be a bit stubborn on getting mental healthcare. We are the providers and the ones who give help. However, even the best need help. A therapist can help you when you need it the most. From helping you organize your schedule so you get more sleep to letting you vent in a safe place, therapists are there when you need it the most.
And thanks to the Internet, teachers now have plenty of ways to receive the care they need. Online counseling allows you to talk to a therapist at any time, which is important for a teacher who is always on their feet.
If you’re interested in online counseling and therapy, click below for more info: https://www.regain.us/advice/therapist/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-online-therapy/.