6 March 2015

Mental Fitness & Fatigue: How can teachers prevent "Stress"

Teaching children in schools can be stressful, contributing to overall mental fatigue. It's widely accepted that teachers are underpaid and unappreciated and the profession is a well documented killer of mental fitness. In this post I will outline a number of ways you can prevent your "Stress" levels from destroying your mental fitness and fatigue.

What is Stress?

Stress is a part of life and is generated by constantly changing situations that a person must face. The term "stress" refers to an internal state which results from demanding, frustrating or unsatisfying conditions. (http://bit.ly/1G3JlP4)
Stress is unavoidable, it is a part of life. There are healthy levels of stress which actually increase performance. Though when stress levels become too high that a person can't deal with it we typically see a negative impact on performance. The result = mental fatigue breaks down a teacher's mental fitness. 

Prevention: Organisation

Teachers need to be prepared and ultimately flexible in every facet of their role. Disruptions to daily routine are inevitable in the intricate world of schools, so preparation & flexibility are key. Knowing your "Plan A, B & C" will give you the confidence to navigate your day like a champion. Your mental fitness and agility to be able to quickly switch learning activities or alter basic procedures will increase profoundly and your students will ultimately benefit. You need to focus on your capacity to be organised & flexible. 

OneNote is your answer to being an organised teacher! With Microsoft OneNote, educators can create digital notebooks that support academic standards and outcomes across disciplines. Students may use OneNote across content areas and grade levels. OneNote also supports research, collaboration, information management, communication, note taking, journaling, and other academic requirements.

OneNote is a tremendous resource for you to use to organise your entire teaching life. Head to onenoteforteachers.com for a ton of resources and guides to get you started.

Prevention: Automation

If you haven't dabbled in the world of automation, now is the time! The leading innovator in automation is IFTTT (If This Then That) IFTTT allows you to "put the internet to work for you". By creating "recipes" you can automate a near endless list of tasks, therefore giving you more time to focus on teaching. To find out more about it head here ifttt.com/wtf 

Here are two of my favorites I am using at the moment:

Prevention: Mental Training

Being mentally fit is just as important to your health as physical fitness and dieting. Mental fitness is crucial to keeping you sane as a teacher and inevitably stress free. Meditation comes in a variety of forms and you will have to find which one works best for you. Personally, I love Smiling MindThe app is a great mediation companion and is super simple to use. Spending a short amount of time every day in stillness will assist you in clearing your mind of the pressures linked with teaching.

How do you stay mentally fit as a teacher? How do you cope with mental fatigue? Let me know in the comments below.