From Greater Good, UC Berkeley
By Jill Suttie
No one would argue with the fact that teaching is stressful. Not only is the work highly challenging, teachers are also frequently underpaid, undervalued, and subject to harsh scrutiny. No wonder teacher burnout is on the rise and that many feel like leaving their profession.
But teacher stress is not only a problem for teachers; it can also be a problem for students. Stressed teachers impact students’ stress levels through a contagion effect, and since student stress impacts learning, this can hurt the quality of education in the classroom. Students learn better in a climate that is more emotionally positive and less stressful, and past studies have shown a clear link between positive emotional classroom climates and academic achievement.
Now, a new study from the University of Virginia provides strong evidence that mindfulness training for teachers can help them cope better with stress on the job while also making the classroom environment more productive for learning.