Teachers__Job_Stress_Reduction

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					Teachers: Job Stress Reduction

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1067

Summary:
Teachers, job stress reduction is important to your health. You know
that. Your physical bodies, emotions, minds, and spirits are all involved
in school work. Even on holiday, you may find yourself working, or at
least thinking about your work.

Such dedication need not be negative. A teacher should, above all, be a
person who wants to make a big difference in students' lives. The
challenge is to make that difference without permitting stress to drive
you out of teaching. ...


Keywords:
teachers,job stress reduction,stress reduction,stressor,stress,eustress


Article Body:
Teachers, job stress reduction is important to your health. You know
that. Your physical bodies, emotions, minds, and spirits are all involved
in school work. Even on holiday, you may find yourself working, or at
least thinking about your work.

Such dedication need not be negative. A teacher should, above all, be a
person who wants to make a big difference in students' lives. The
challenge is to make that difference without permitting stress to drive
you out of teaching. The challenge is to practice good stress reduction
techniques.

Understanding Stress Reduction

An understanding of stress reduction must begin with an understanding of
stress. Stress is not that stack of un-graded papers. Stress is not the
child who insists on asking endless questions, no matter how well you
explain. Stress is not a matter of two teenagers leaping into the aisle
to fight, while the rest of the class chants, "Fight, fight, fight."
Stress is not the parent who calls repeatedly to complain that you are
not doing what is best for her child. Stress is not even the principal
inviting you to the office for a job review conference.

All of the above are stressors, not stress.

Stressor Defined

A stressor is a stimulus that causes stress. The illustrations above are
of stressors. When Job broke that expensive science equipment, his action
was a stressor. When Betty brought her father's spearfish for show-n-tell
– and stabbed it into your right arm – that was a stressor. They were
stimuli that caused stress. They themselves were not stress, but they
stimulated stress.

Stress Defined

Stress is your RESPONSE to the above examples. "Good stress" or "bad
stress" is produced dependent on your response. Which calls for job
stress reduction?

On the one hand, you respond negatively in fight-or-flight mode.
Adrenalin floods your body and muscles tense. Blood is shunted from
extremities to core organs. All systems are "go" for fleeing or fighting
the enemy.

On the other hand, you respond positively by becoming excited and
challenged. Endorphins power happy determination to move ahead. You are
flooded with a feeling of euphoria, ready to make the best of the
stressor.

Stress, negative or positive, is your response to stressors.

We continue with a brief look at the two kinds of stress.

Eustress – Beneficial, Good Stress

Teachers, job stress reduction programs are unnecessary when the stress
involved is eustress. Eustress is an appropriate, positive response to
the stressors teachers meet. "Eu" means "good" in Greek. Picture joy and
laughter. Eustress is pleasant, healing stress.

Eustress may appear to be an emotional, mental, spiritual, or physical
overload, but it does not drain away power. It energizes you; helps you
handle the overload. Teachers' job stress reduction programs should begin
with a presentation of eustress and the benefits it offers.

Distress – Detrimental, Bad Stress

Most teachers' job stress reduction programs focus only on distress.
Distress is an inappropriate, negative response to the stressors of a
teacher's job. "Di" means "two" in Greek. Picture double trouble coming
your way. Distress is often a disabling, crippling stress.

Distress, like eustress may appear to be an emotional, mental, spiritual,
or physical overload. Unlike eustress, distress drains power for anything
other than fight or flight. Distress tires you; freezes the brain, and
makes it difficult to handle the overload. Teachers' job stress reduction
programs should include a presentation of distress and the detrimental
effects it carries.

Employ Stress Augmentation!

Paradoxically, teachers, job stress reduction can be as simple as job
stress augmentation. You need to augment, or increase, eustress on the
job.
Remembering that stress is nothing more than your response to the demands
placed upon you, recognize that you have control over job stress. You may
choose to respond positively or negatively; with eustress or with
distress.

Look at the following two examples.

1. You face a huge stack of un-graded papers at the end of the day.

A distress response is to sigh, and take "flight" down the hall for
another mug of stale coffee and some small talk. Eventually, you plod
back to the classroom, "flight" still written clearly on every part of
your body. You sit down forlornly, and gaze dejectedly at the clock. Your
shoulders slump as you reach for the first paper. You wish for job stress
reduction, unconsciously defining it as a magic wand that will make the
papers go away. That does not happen, of course, and you begin to reap
the detrimental effects of distress.

A eustress response is to smile, allot 2 hours to finish the work, and
divide the stack into 8 stacks. Now you have bite-sized work piles. You
set a goal of completing each stack in no more than 15 minutes – less if
responsibly possible. Promising yourself a cup of coffee after the first
hour, you tackle the first stack, eager to meet or beat you goal.
Augmenting eustress, you enjoy job stress reduction and all of its
healthy benefits.

2. Betty insists on asking endless questions, no matter how well you
explain.

A distress response is to "fight" with Betty, stress reduction hopes
shattered. You feel neck and shoulders muscles tighten. A frown yanks
your mouth downward as you approach Betty's seat. Unconsciously, you
clench your fist. You will not permit Betty to demand so much attention,
and you make that very clear in sharp, "fighting" tones. Betty cowers
into silence, and you begin to reap the detrimental effects of distress.

A eustress response is to smile quietly, and see Betty as one reason you
decided on a teaching career. You want to teach Betty stress reduction
along with proper listening techniques. You wait for a time when the rest
of the class is occupied, and then go quietly to Betty's desk. Smiling,
you take Betty's hand and lead her gently into a quiet, private part of
the room. Relaxed and happy, you set a goal with Betty. You and she will
work together to help her listen in such a way that she needs fewer
questions. As she learns to control her response to the stressor of
listening, she can win small rewards along the way. By the time Betty
returns to her desk, you both are happy. Augmenting eustress, you enjoy
job stress reduction again.

Tip: Teachers, job stress reduction is a choice. No elaborate stress
reduction program is necessary if you have the backbone to commit to
augmenting eustress and refusing to engage in distress.

				
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