Coping with stress and avoiding burn-out
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Coping with stress and avoiding burn-out book
The purpose of this chapter is to provide teachers with the necessary tools to enable them to be proactive managers of their personal and professional levels of stress, thereby avoiding the possibility of occupational ‘burn out’. We will also encourage teachers to use the knowledge, skills and strategies we outline to inform debate about whole school approaches to coping with organisational stressors and to pass on basic stress management techniques to their students, parents and colleagues. In the first part of the chapter, theories of stress and burn-out are discussed and the importance of identifying the symptoms of stress overload is emphasised. A comprehensive model for stress management is presented which can be used as the basis for whole school development planning. The model includes strategies which focus on personal, interpersonal, task related and organisational factors, all of which need to be addressed in order to manage stress effectively. Finally, the application of stress management techniques to common student stressors such as test anxiety, is discussed.