Under Pressure: Teachers and Students


Samantha Martinez

Mr. Zoebelein acts out teacher stress.

Lucia Guillen

The school year presents both students and teachers with numerous challenges. Those challenges can add up and leave teachers and students feeling stressed. 

Based on the article, “Education World” by EDmin Inc. teachers feel like they are stressed and disengaged with their work and that impacts student’s performance. Recently, teacher and students took surveys which indicated that educators and students are at risk due to low morale. 

Job satisfaction amongst teachers decreased nine percentage points in less than five years, from 68% to 59% who feel “very satisfied.” When teachers suffer, so does administration.  Half of principals reported feeling stressed several days a week. 

 Ms.Valles said that “ I get stressed a lot when I need to do something but can not get to it.” Mr. Adkins weighed in on the subject matter saying, “I only get stressed when I feel like I can’t get something done, but I always find a solution.”

There are many potential causes of teacher stress. Making sure students get high test scores, performance reviews, and administrative observations are all factors. Meetings, trainings, and other demands strain teachers as well. Parents, grading, planning, rainy days, and students that are far below grade level also pose threats to happy teachers.  The list goes on.

But teachers are not the only ones feeling the stress of the school year. The MetLife report, “Challenges for School Leadership,” also noted that nine in ten principals believe that, as principles, that should be accountable for everything that happens to the children in a school.  Three-quarters of principals said they feel the job has “become too complex,” and seven in ten principals said their job responsibilities were different compared to five years prior. 

Gallup’s 2014 “State of America’s Schools Report,” based on a 2012 survey of 600,000 students in grades 5-12, asked students about their feelings of hope, engagement, and well-being in their school.  45% of students said they did not feel engaged, and the rate of disengagement increased with grade level. 

When asked about if teacher stress affects student learning, junior Cenia Reyes said “I do not agree with this because I do not think teacher stress necessarily pressures me; they just want us to do our work.” 

The report concluded that teachers have the biggest influence on student engagement. Students reporting that they had at least one teacher who made them excited about their future, or that their school was committed to the strengths of each student, were thirty times more likely to be engaged in their schoolwork.

Keeping teachers happy will help students feel more at ease and able to learn. Creating a more relaxed environment would benefit both teachers and students.