Saturday, July 21, 2007

Develop Personal Coping Strategies as Special Ed Teachers

Teachers would be well-advised to develop strategies to cope with stress in their teaching positions and personal lives. Research on stress suggests that people have two basic approaches to coping with stress: active and inactive coping strategies. People who use active coping strategies are attempting to change the source of stress or themselves. In contrast, persons who use inactive coping strategies avoid or deny the source of stress. Active coping strategies are considerably more effective in managing stress.

Researchers have established that effective coping strategies reduce workplace related stress. District and school administrators, however, are ultimately responsible for reducing stress in the school environment (see Aronson & Pines, 1988). Expecting teachers to better manage their stress in an unsupportive environment where clear role expectations do not exist is an unproductive approach to resolving teacher burnout problems. Efforts to create more productive, caring, clearly defined work situations and improve teachers' skills are the best prevention against teacher stress.

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