Teachers Need Personal Days too!

Teachers stress level effects the students they teach

(RxWiki News) Children spend up to fifty hours a week in school. It is known that teaching is a notoriously stressful job, so, how does a teacher’s stress level affect a student?

In a 2010 pilot study, Teresa McIntyre, a research professor in the department of psychology and the Texas Institute for Evaluation, Measurement and Statistics (TIMES) at the University of Houston (UH), found that one third of middle school teachers presented to be very stressed.

"The effect of the student-teacher relationship needs to better understood."

McIntyre notes that middle school is a transitional period for students as they are going through puberty, therefore escalating the dance between student and teacher. Teachers are instrumental in shaping a child, and therefore teachers’ mood(s) have an impact on this dynamic.

If you’re a teacher and are feeling overwhelmed, make sure to take time to de-stress. Parents should be in the know about their child's behavior and their teacher's classroom setting.

Prior to this study, little research had been done on teachers’ stress level. McIntyre, leads a new study, "Using Longitudinal and Momentary Analysis to Study the Impact of Middle School Teachers' Stress on Teacher Effectiveness, Student Behavior and Achievement." The Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Education, granted a $1.6 million fund for this study.

For this study, 200 seventh and eighth grade math, social science and science teachers, along with more than 1,000 middle school students will be studied over a three year period. The researchers will monitor the teachers’ stress levels by checking their heart rate and blood pressure.

The teachers will keep a journal with details on their classroom setting and stress level. The researchers will also track the students’ behavior. The goal of this study is to identify the causes of teachers’ stress and how that stress affects the students behavior and academic achievement.

The hope of this study is to find how stress affects students and identify interventions that may help teachers, schools and students in the long run. Understanding the teacher-student-school environment dynamic will better both the teachers and the students.

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Review Date: 
May 26, 2011