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9 Stress-Busting Tips for Teachers

Published: 04/07/2017

There’s no getting around it – teaching can be very stressful at times!

Long days on your feet dealing with difficult classes, mountains of marking and the million other stresses and strains that come with your chosen career can all take their toll. By the time that friend of yours makes tells you teachers have it easy with “6 weeks off in summer” for the hundredth time, you’re probably ready to explode!

Learn how to keep on top of your stress levels, relax and take a breather, with help from these 9 stress-busting tips.


1. Take stock

The first step towards reducing stress as a teacher is identifying what is causing it. Write a list of everything that causes you stress and separate it into those you can control and those you can’t – with the most stressful things at the top of each list.

Effective stress management is about tackling those things you can make an impact on, and learning to develop coping mechanisms for those you can’t change.

2. Start as you mean to go on

Taking just a few minutes to centre yourself can help to reduce stress throughout the school day.

Before your pupils arrive in the morning, sit quietly, take some deep breaths and listen to some relaxing music or just the quiet of the room. Think about what you have to do that day, and visualise it all going well and in a calm, positive manner. If you’re calm, there’s a good chance your pupils will act in a calmer manner too.

3. Cut down on caffeine

Many of us in the teaching profession depend on plenty coffee to help us through the day – but that 5th cup probably isn’t doing you any favours!

Too much caffeine can actually raise stress levels and prevent you from relaxing, whilst making you more irritable and nervous. It can also interfere with sleep, making you more tired and irritable the next morning.

4. Go home!

It can be tempting to stay after school to get all that marking work done, but it’s a vicious cycle – and could contribute towards your stress levels. Being disciplined, realistic and setting a firm cut off point will help you to develop a better work-life balance.

5. Be mindful

Mindfulness is a powerful stress relieving tool – it’s proven to help improve mental wellbeing, and arms you with the ability to cope with all kinds of stressful situations throughout the school day.

There are loads of books, classes and online resources dedicated to mindfulness, and it’s something you can practice in as little as a few minutes each day.

6. Learn to say no

You don’t have to say yes to everything, and there is only so much one teacher can do. If you’re at capacity, don’t feel guilty about refusing requests or politely pushing back – whether it’s with the head teacher, colleagues, pupils or parents.

7. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Sometimes, things will go wrong! Pupils will misbehave, classes won’t go as well as they should have, things may get a little out of control, deadlines slip and things get forgotten. Remember, you can’t control everything, and sometimes, we all make mistakes.

Try to let go, forgive yourself and treat every day as a fresh slate and a new opportunity.

8. Set achievable goals

We’ve all done it – come into school at the start of the day determined to get all the jobs done, only to fall massively short, and leave with a list longer than the one we started with.

When setting goals for the day, it’s important to be realistic. Write down a list of your jobs, and tick them off as you do them.

If you fail to get through your list by the end of the day, think about what else you did – then add these to the list and tick them off. It will give you a sense of achievement and perspective about what you’ve done.

9. Talk about it

It’s good to share your problems with other colleagues. When you’re stressed, it’s easy to feel isolated, and as if everyone else has everything under control. The reality is that most people will be in a similar boat, and sharing can help you to process the stress and find solutions.

By talking to other teachers, you may also be able to redistribute some of your workload – taking the pressure off.

Teach in London – Stress Free Recruitment Support from Future Education

Are you looking for teaching opportunities in and around the capital? Take the stress out of finding your next teaching job, with support from Future Education – the specialist education recruitment agency in London.

For further information, call our team today on 020 8256 0910 or email your CV to Alternatively, check out our latest available roles at

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