Why are teachers stressed out?

An individual's #wellbeing at work is often measured by his job satisfaction, feelings of self-efficacy, work stress or burnout, as well as organizational indicators such as sickness, absence and staff turnover. However, an employee's wellness is generally affected by stressors or conditions at work that generate stress.

Between 2006-2007, Health and Safety Executive statistics estimated that factors such as stress, depression, or anxiety accounted for 46% of days lost due to work-related illness; hence, they constitute the single largest cause of all absences attributable to work-related illness. Whereas, in 2010, 1 in 6 workers in England and Whales, showed symptoms of anxiety, depression, and unmanageable stress.

Teachers are also affected by stress or anxiety at work. The trigger of stress happens due to three elements which are demand, fear of being unable to deal with the demand satisfactorily, and fear of not being able to deal with the demand satisfactorily may have negative consequences.


Smith, a Health & Safety Executive, 2000 found that stress levels at teachers were more than double the average rates. The Self-reported Work-related Illness questionnaire module in the national Labour Force Survey in the UK from 2008-2011 showed the same results.

  1. Heavy workload,

  2. relationships with colleagues and management,

  3. poor working environment,

  4. pupil behaviour,

  5. long working hours,

  6. providing cover for teacher shortages and absences,

  7. the pressure of school targets and inspections,

  8. coping with change and administrative duties

are some of the factors that indicate stress at teachers. Harmful and unfavourable effects on school climate, organizational goals and targets, or direct financial burdens to the public budget can happen due to a high prevalence of sickness absence and teacher turnover.

Moreover, the stress leads to adverse consequences for the physical and psychological health of the teacher, as well as to a negative impact on learning, behaviour, educational performance, and thus, the future prospects of pupils.

Therefore, organizational interventions to improve wellbeing and reduce work-related stress are required. These interventions can help the organization have better communication as well as improve social support or a culture of recognition. Moreover, they modify the role of the teacher or their line managers to give teachers more control over their work, increase their decision latitude over their work environment and reduce role conflicts.

Lastly, these interventions can redesign objective workload levels or the work environment within the teacher is situated. This would lead to a more manageable workload or a work environment that is more conducive to the psychosocial needs of the teacher

Source: Organisational interventions for improving wellbeing and reducing work-related stress in teachers.
Naghieh A, 2015
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