Due to the global pandemic and our struggles, teachers around the country are extremely stressed. Teachers have been working really hard to keep students safe from the virus and have been helping their virtual students on certain platforms like Zoom. Some things are different than last year, but this year with the extra precautions that are having to be taken, difficulties arise.
The mental health of teachers is very important because if a teacher is feeling unwell or having a really bad day, then their attitude is going to affect how a student’s own day in the classroom goes.
Students usually can tell when their teachers are stressed out. The mental health of teachers can affect their life outside of school and their relationships with their families. “I can definitely tell if they look like they’re agitated or if they’re kind of stressing out; if teachers have their hands on their head; or they snap more often than they usually do. Most of the time, it’s usually about work or grading, or something along those lines. It is definitely noticeable,” said Miriam Argenal, an 8th grade Dobie student.
Teacher’s normally don’t like opening up to their students, which can cause hardships when we don’t know what has gone wrong. If students can help in any way when teachers need it, then this can help with their mental health. Opening up to your students and telling them that you’re not in a great mood can change the whole day. “It is pretty easy to tell my students how I’m feeling because my feelings are gonna show. I can just say, ‘Hey guys, I’m having a bad day,’ or ‘I have a really bad headache today, so please just try to work with me, so we can have a good day.’ I also mention my feelings because I know students also have bad days and maybe it’ll be hard for them to listen to my teachings. Communication is needed!” said Ms. Z, an 8th grade Dobie English teacher.
Teachers do care about their students, but for some, professionalism comes before feelings. “It’s definitely not easy for me to share my feelings with my students. I want to keep it professional and I think that sometimes oversharing can just not be as professional as I would like it to be,” said Mrs. Freres, a Spanish teacher at Dobie.
As important as it is to stay professional in front of young minds at school, forming a friendly relationship between students and teachers is a bigger benefit to the brain. No, this is not a suggestion to become best friends with your teacher or admin, but it is suggesting that if you want your mental health to improve, then consider opening up to your students more.
Mr. House, an applied math teacher, says that he feels stressed and he knows other teachers do too. “I think work is having a negative effect on me because it’s hard to have healthy boundaries with work now because there’s so much to do and there’s so little time to do it,” he said. Teachers “in the now” are constantly dealing with piles and piles of work, papers, grades, and virtual anxiety. Though many students are back in person at Dobie by now, teachers everywhere are trying hard to be positive, but this is exhausting when time seems to be always running out.
This is a major problem with many teachers wanting to get everything done and trying their best, but they’re still flooded with huge amounts of work left to do for both in-person and online students. There is almost no time for fresh air and this is having a negative effect on teachers and students. “I very rarely take breaths, but I do take my mask off to get fresh air every now and then,” said Ms. Reed, an 8th grade Dobie science teacher.
Because teachers are feeling this way most of the time, how are students being affected? Are students causing their own problem? Look at the correlation: If students are being noisy and disruptive in class, this makes the teacher angry and frustrated. Because the teacher is angry and frustrated, she/he will yell at the students, which all causes stress and decreases mental health. Mrs. Navarro, a Dobie counselor, says that she doesn’t get angry and frustrated a lot, but she does know many teachers on campus and at home do because of all of the new normals we are trying to get used to.
This article seems to be mostly negative, so is there a solution to this world wide problem? Can students help their teachers? The obvious answer is yes, but how? If students see that their teacher or administrator seems to be having a hard time, then a simple action like completing work or helping other students keep the volume down, then the stress relief for the teacher gets real. “I try to not talk to my teachers since that could upset them more or I try not to ask as many questions. I know stress sometimes makes people upset and not themselves and less easier to talk to.Honestly, be less rowdy. Don’t get on your teacher’s nerves; be kind and respectful; do your work!” said Gabriel Salanguit, a Dobie 7th grader.