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What can we do to deal with the growing mental health crisis among teachers and pupils?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    ‘The problem of teacher mental health is to be debated at next week’s Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Manchester.

    The TUC will consider warnings of a direct link between the mental health and wellbeing of teachers and that of their pupils, and fears that the long-term consequences could be “catastrophic” for the country.

    A NASUWT motion, to be put before TUC member unions on Monday (10 September), will say that the congress is “deeply concerned” by evidence from NASUWT’s Annual Big Question survey, carried out earlier this year, in which almost two-thirds of teachers said their job had adversely affected their mental health in the past 12 months.’


    What are your views about the crisis? Will this problem ever be resolved? Are there tips that you or your colleagues have used to deal with anxiety and stress? Do you think schools are supportive of pupils and colleagues suffering from mental health problems? Do you think they could do more?
  2. teselectronic

    teselectronic Occasional commenter

    Reduction in work load by means of electronic application with respect to teaching, marking and progress analysis.
    Use didactic methods only, to reinforce learning by means of electronic application.
    Significant reduction in paperwork!
    I'm of the opinion the above would help!
    stonerose likes this.
  3. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    We should not be sharing tips about how to handle stress. We should be removing the causes of stress.
    OFSTED, oppressive management, impossible grade predictions, impossible marking policies, unreasonable assessment regimes .....
  4. teselectronic

    teselectronic Occasional commenter

    Completely agree moscowbore, however, good teaching = good learning + good discipline and not the inverse scenario, i.e. good discipline = good teaching + good learning; application of this formula, will help to remove the cause of stress!
  5. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    Is it the endless pressure to perform?
    This year we have pupils who refuse to go into class, anxiety. Pupils who have cards to leave class, anxiety and medical.
    I have been at this game for thirty years and I dont remember the numbers of refusers and anxiety sufferers when I started.
    I am against corporal punishment.
    In my day if anyone did not go into class, they would have been belted. No one when I was a pupil did not go into class. Perhaps the decision was easier, do I go in or do I get hit. Then when they were in it wasn't so bad after all.
    It is a mess.
    Catgirl1964 and Alice K like this.
  6. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    What can we do about the mental health crisis amongst teachers? If by "we" it means classroom teachers, the answer is absolutely nothing because the workforce is disunited and the unions emasculated. The people who create the framework in which classroom teachers work, have the power to reduce the workload and to treat teachers with courtesy and respect but to do so carries financial implications so it wont happen.
    agathamorse, stonerose and Alice K like this.
  7. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Just stop checking up on me, stop watching me, stop looking in my books, stop “advising “ me on things I understand a great deal better than you, stop looking at my kids’d books, stop just STOP.
    Oh and a bit more at the end if th
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    Treat teachers and students as human beings . maybe. Ban Ofsted and League Tables :rolleyes:
    stonerose and agathamorse like this.
  9. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Oops, phone post. A bit more dosh at the end of the month and if not just a little word of praise!
    Alice K, stonerose and agathamorse like this.
  10. stonerose

    stonerose Occasional commenter

    Ezzie and agathamorse like this.
  11. stonerose

    stonerose Occasional commenter

    .....and getting paid blankety-blank more than me for not doing my job since Noah was in waterproof nappies - if ever you did you advisers, governors, academy chiefs, SMTs etc.

    Do it in front of us....if you dare.:mad:
    Alice K likes this.
  12. fluffy81212

    fluffy81212 New commenter

    I am fairly new to teaching and education, but I am not new to stress. I agree entirely that removing causes of stress is an important factor but I also think getting sidetracked by increasing pay, removing OFSTED as a stress etc is a dangerous path.

    Teaching is hard but it is not the only profession in the world that is hard. In fact most people in the workforce are under enormous stress.

    I genuinely feel that mindfulness, horticultural and art based therapies, cultural and social education, sports therapy etc are all areas where we can bring well-being into everyday school life. By doing this we can bring the importance of self respect, care and regulation into every day for staff and pupils regardless of the individual difficulties they are facing.

    One thing I have always seen in education is a big chunk of stinking bad attitude. But we are as teachers the grown ups who are there to educate and nurture the next generation. As grown ups we have the skills to embrace these concepts and to model and transfer these attitudes and behaviours. As educators we have a duty to be open to and to continue learning. That does mean not getting into a negative rut but seeking another direction.

    It isn't realistic to expect the culture of results led, OFSTED monitored schools to change overnight. The government is not going to turn around and give teachers a massive pay rise. But there is support from all levels for taking education and practice of well-being into schools. I am not saying to give up on other things but we should be talking about the changes that are within our immediate control.
  13. ajrowing

    ajrowing Star commenter


    Trust me to do the best job I know how to, stop treating me like a naughty student.
    Grandsire and Alice K like this.

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