Blog6

How Mindfulness Works to Reduce Teacher Stress and Burnout
October 08, 2020

“Teacher stress levels skyrocketed as they pivoted to teaching online, in socially distanced classrooms, or both at the same time. They desperately tried to engage students who were checked out or who only appeared as a black box on Zoom. It was a grueling year, teachers said. And some say the start of this school year has been even worse, as the Delta variant threatens to upend in-person instruction once again. Teachers are also tasked both with catching students up academically and attending to their trauma and social-emotional needs,” writes Madeline Will in a recent EdWeek article.

It’s no secret teacher stress levels are at a peak. Forty-six percent of teachers report daily stress.1 In a survey by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and the Collaborative of Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), over 5,000 teachers shared the three most frequent emotions they feel each day. The five most-mentioned among all teachers were anxious, fearful, worried, overwhelmed and sad.2

In addition to the challenges of the pandemic, state and federal mandates, poor job satisfaction, and limited resources to manage classroom behavioral issues add to teacher stress, burnout, and turnover.

Mindfulness offers a solution. Daily mindfulness practice has been scientifically proven to reduce teacher stress and burnout, in turn improving their effectiveness and engagement with their students.3 The practice of mindfulness in the classroom – with both teachers and students participating – has the potential to deliver real, sustainable change for teachers and students.

Through practicing daily mindfulness, teachers can support their own mental health and well-being. In the video below, a high school teacher from Englewood, NJ explains how she is using mindfulness during the pandemic to manage her own stress.

“I definitely have a new grasp on how to handle my emotions just by being in the present and being mindful of what’s happening in the here and now,” she shares.

To get started, we invite teachers to listen to our free Educator Appreciation practice, made in collaboration with our partners at LG Electronics, for a moment of self-care. Listen to the practice here.

Additionally, as part of our Community program, we offer the Educator Well-Being Series – specifically made to support the mental health and well-being of teachers.

We are deeply grateful to educators everywhere for the work that you are doing with your students. On behalf of the entire Inner Explorer team, thank you for all that you do.

SOURCES

[1] Gallup (2014). https://www.earlychildhoodwebinars.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Teacher-Stress-and-Health-PENNSTATE-2016.pdf
[2] Cipriano, C., Brackett, M., (2020, April 7)). Teachers are Anxious and Overworked. EdWeek. http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_now/2017/10/educator_stress_aft_bat.html
[3] Roeser, R. W., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Jha, A., Cullen, M., Wallace, L., Wilensky, R.,Harrison, J. (2013). Journal of Educational Psychology. http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2013-14682-001