Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Teachermom Stress


The alarm sounds at 5AM. It's Monday morning and her 3 year old son has had a rough night.  She packs her lunch, hops in the shower, makes a light breakfast for her little one, and then interrupts her snoring husband's slumber to give him a peck on the cheek before loading the car.  There's her packed sack lunch, 650 sheets of colored construction paper, magic markers, two boxes of glue, 30 boxes of popsicle sticks and 6 cans of dried paint.  (All of this and more, by the way, was ordered from her own bank account, because of school  budget cutbacks.)  Then, of course a crabby little boy who doesn't want to go to daycare,  is tired from lack of sleep the night before, wants to stay home in his own bed to "sleep in, " but since his father worked the night shift (to make up for his mother's low take home pay), he can't stay home and needs someone to look after him while his mother teaches other people's children at a public school 45 mins. away from his house.

So, Johnny cries all the way to daycare, and his mother has to watch the road. It is a  dark,cold, frigid morning in "Timbuktu," (AKA a small rural town with a small population in the middle of nowhere),  where the deer population at dawn has been known to leap through the air from forest floors into car windows. She drops off her son to a display of heart wrenching screams, which pulls at her heartstrings every time, and makes it to school just in time to be the first teacher in line at the copy machine. Just when she feels her day is "going as planned," (she doesn't have the stress of waiting in line to make copies and has time to sip a hot cup of coffee in the teacher's lounge), a frantic school administrator calls her into the lobby with only 3 copies of lessons run,  completely throwing off her schedule. ""Okay, I know the weekly flyer reads "Tuesday" for you, but we need you to drop everything and pull "car duty" today, too. " "Mrs. Hornblower has the flu!"  So, with tennis shoes, (no boots or gloves), she stands in the  frigid, slush-ridden snow opening and closing  car doors for children exiting minivans at the main entrance of the school, totally exhausted and stressed out at 7:15 in the morning BEFORE  even teaching her first class of the day. And this is just another day. A typical one, too!

If we factor in pressures of ,"No Child Left Behind," "Benchmark Assessments," "Behavioral Problems, " "Overcrowding," "Absentee Parenting," and " Educational Budget Cutbacks," we have a very important profession becoming the most highly stressed profession. And as a health care professional, I can say that this dynamic of unreasonable  physical and emotional demands along with a lack of societal support, is leading to a  teacher healthcare disaster unlike any other, which may in time lead to a teacher shortage.More and more teachers are having stress-related health problems such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and depression to name a few. This is not okay. There are some GREAT teachers out there who deserve better!!

Wellness programs in the school need to focus on the staff, and not just school lunch menu planning. The environment of the school starts with happy and healthy teachers in my opinion, which are directly influenced by administrative policies. How many school systems offer wellness educational opportunities for teachers? Can you imagine what it would be like to have a warm and healthy breakfast waiting for teachers when they arrive at their schools every morning, along with an onsite health club and massage chair just for the teachers???  A little spoiling in my opinion could go a long way. Instead, teachers have to be everything from their own secretaries, to parents to the few children who lack parenting at home, and who become behavioral problems that disrupt the entire learning environment of the entire classroom day after day after day!! This can be draining for anyone, but having a classroom of 3 to 5 children out of 30 who constantly act up can be exhausting!!  And depending on the support staff, whether they support the teacher or not, can cause some teachers to feel isolated, helpless and alone. I taught for one year, and was so exhausted at the end of the day, that I would fall asleep without dinner at 7PM, sometimes in my clothes!!!

How can teachers avoid burnout?  Studies prove that half of teachers beginning their career will be out of the profession in five years, and that, 25% will encounter depression, or burnout.  So what can be done?

Since I am a doctor and wellness consultant, I will speak to stress. I believe the best antidote for stress is to move your feet. Exercise works and can always be arranged around any schedule. I always tell people to get a medical work-up first,  to see what their physical fitness level is, and then to go for it!!  Walking 40 mins. a day can do wonders to clear your head, and even moderate walking can be a great stress buster. Although weight training, swimming and rebounding are my favorites!!

Good nutrition is next. Superfoods can work wonders for weight loss and sugar regulation. Undenatured whey protein, high quality vitamin and mineral support, adaptogen support, and a system of weight control. The best I have seen in years is what Isagenix offers. (I myself have lost 60 pounds on this system!) Isagenix has an entire program of weight loss, longevity products and products for athletic performance. Go to: www.caregiversgetfit.isagenix.com to order the products.

Bodywork is a great stress buster. Chiropractic care works directly with nervous system interference caused by mental, physical and chemical stress.  Massage works wonders to support chiropractic adjustments and to calm over worked muscles.

Talk and listen.  Find someone to talk to for emotional support. A group of teachers, a pastor, a counselor, or a dog. (I'm not kidding when I say a dog. ) And listen. Walk in the woods, or by water and listen to your heart.

Caregivers reading this, if you are a teacher we appreciate you!!  And if you are not a teacher, do something nice for a teacher this week, your kindness will go a long way. (I'm partial, I'm married to one!)


Copyright 2014 Caregivers Get Fit! Mama  Nicey

The information in this blog is information. It is not meant to be a replacement for getting medical advice from your own health professional regarding your own individual health challenge or condition. Dr. Denise will not diagnose, treat, or give direct personal consultations/advice to you on this blog for any medical condition, but will give general examples, and scientific research on many different health topics.  How you decide to use the information is between you and your own medical/ health professional.

 

According to a study conducted by Resilience Education, teachers often leave the teaching profession because of depression. In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics reports that nearly 50 percent of all teachers leave teaching after only five years in the profession. Teachers, like others in demanding jobs, may become depressed as a result of workplace stress.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/facts_6137390_teachers-depression.html


According to a study conducted by Resilience Education, teachers often leave the teaching profession because of depression. In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics reports that nearly 50 percent of all teachers leave teaching after only five years in the profession. Teachers, like others in demanding jobs, may become depressed as a result of workplace stress.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/facts_6137390_teachers-depression.html






No comments:

Post a Comment

When A Caregiver Needs A Caregiver

It was 6:30AM on a Saturday morning when, “Your motherʼs light is on - she must  be up!” Loriʼs husband was already on his way to...