Business is business; but when you are in the business of dealing with children, it's hard to keep your emotions in check. Teaching is a profession that attracts naturally compassionate folks. With a genuine sense of social concern and commitment, their desire is to work with young minds to change the world through education. No one becomes an educator for the money.
Teachers invest years of their lives in education, licensing and other credentials. It's impossible to spend the better part of the year with a classroom full of young people and not engage your emotions. You get attached; you can't help it.
Whether working for a public, faith-based, or private school, every educator encounters students with difficulties, and at times, in crisis. You care, and you hurt with them.
Maintaining a work/life balance requires a tremendous amount of energy. Unlike a bank teller or an insurance salesman, it's hard to go home and not think about what happened at school. Teachers feel frazzled for many reasons, including high-stakes testing and the fact that many students are themselves coming to school stressed.
- Burnout has become an occupational hazard for educators. This can impact personal relationships and worse, cause physical damage. Stress can bring about health problems from cardiovascular issues to hair loss and everything in between. Educators who suffer the effects of stress can also adversely affect student performance and attitude.
- Retention has been a problem in the U.S. since the sixties. Although no one would consider teaching a lucrative career path, the NEA says "high-quality mentors and competitive salaries make a difference in keeping quality educators.”
- Emotional well-being is a major concern. In Mindfulness for Teachers, author Patricia Jennings offers practical ways to reduce the stress level for educators by using mindfulness, a technique that helps an individual heighten awareness of the connection between the physical and emotional. The book gives exercises in mindfulness, emotional awareness, movement, listening, and more, all with real-time classroom applications.
On the mental heath aspect, it's important for educators to practice self-care, and employers should provide resources for those who need support. A healthy and emotionally stable teacher benefits the student and the school community overall.
If you are a compassionate person interested in a job working with students, contact us to learn about opportunities. If you are interested in learning more about this and related topics, visit the Education section of our blog.
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