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The other side of the coin

By Ruth Puentespina


While many articles have been published on student well-being and mental health, teachers are suffering a crisis of their own. In the UK, one in twenty teachers are suffering from a mental health issue. This may stem from the fact that there aren’t enough teachers available and retained due to the pressures of the job. Teaching has long been known to be a stressful and challenging career, and although job satisfaction has been high in the past, across the board other factors have contributed to a decline in the quality of education, including inconsistent government support.

Other factors include the excessive demands and poor working practices teachers endure, with no long term plans in place to alleviate these conditions. Work life balance, enjoyed in other professions, isn’t as available — ironically — for teaching staff who have a summer holiday every year. One way the Department of Education is looking to take steps toward improving this issue has been to “reduce workload, support early career school teachers, promote flexible working and tackling accountability pressures, as well as supporting schools to deal with behaviour management.”

 

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