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Sunday, March 11, 2018

The hidden threat of teacher stress -

The hidden threat of teacher stress -

The hidden threat of teacher stress

Nearly half of all teachers report experiencing a lot of daily stress

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This article was originally published on The Conversation.

When a traumatic event such as the Florida school shooting takes place, often the focus afterward is on finding ways to make sure students and teachers are safe from violence and physical harm.

But there’s another danger that threatens teacher well-being that is often overlooked. The threat is stress — and it is something that nearly half of all teachers say they experience at a high level every day.
Teachers are actually tied with nurses, with 46 percent of both groups reporting high daily stress. Such reports are comparable with other notoriously demanding occupations, such as physicians and business managers. It’s not hard to understand the reasons why.
Teachers do much more than teach academic lessons. They must also manage classroom behavior and keep an eye on helping students grow and develop socially in a healthy way. On top of that, they must coordinate with other adults and keep records of just about everything they do.
Teachers are expected to perform these tasks effectively, even when their students face difficulties outside the classroom, from unmet needs to mental health issues. The more needs students have, the more teachers are expected to do.
If teachers already face high levels of occupational stress, it’s not hard to see how the recent spate of deadly school shootings – coupled with the idea that teachers should arm themselves to protect themselves and their students — can elevate their stress levels even higher.
We make these observations as researchers affiliated with the Center for Research on School Safety, School Climate, and Classroom Management at Georgia State University. Among other things, our research focuses on fostering better school and workplace relationships and cultivating safe learning environments.
The consequences of teacher stress are far-reaching and adversely impact not just the teacher, but everyone around them, most notably their students.
Threats to teacher wellness
For starters, chronic stress triggers a range of physical and mental health symptoms. Physically, stress weakens the immune system and increases susceptibility to illness. Stress also exacerbates pain and reduces physical stamina.
Prolonged stress may increase risk of chronic fatigue, heart disease and other Continue reading: The hidden threat of teacher stress -
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'School Choice' Is A Lie That Harms Us All | HuffPost

'School Choice' Is A Lie That Harms Us All | HuffPost:

‘School Choice’ Is A Lie That Harms Us All

t’s March, which means it’s “choice” season for a lot families living in urban areas. Like many households, mine is on pins and needles waiting to learn where our teenage daughter has been accepted to high school.
She has taken three different standardized tests to be considered for admission at various public, Catholic and independent schools. She tried to convince us to hire a tutor, as some of her peers’ parents have, to give her advantage on these tests. We refused, because it seemed a bit much for eighth grade. Her father and I have spent hours crafting essays and filling out applications. We played in the local lottery to attend schools across town. We have taken off work to take her to visit school after school, where she has arrived, nervous in starched shirts, legs carefully crossed, to implore administrators to accept her. She is 14.
We have done all of this so we can avoid our struggling neighborhood school.
This system of school choice has powerful backers. The most influential is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the billionaire heiress whose proposed budget would pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the various privatizations schemes such as vouchers and charters that power this system of “choice.”
Washington, D.C., where I live, recently lost yet another city schools chancellor when it was revealed he had jumped the line to choose a school for his own daughter. Antwan Wilson resigned for violating a policy that he had authored, a policy that was supposed to stop well-connected parents and officials from gaming the system to win their kids spots at top schools. Wilson apologized, explaining that he got “tunnel vision” in trying to make the best choice he could for his own child.
He’s wrong about this. The tunnel is the feature, not the bug, of school choice. It is the'School Choice' Is A Lie That Harms Us All | HuffPost: