Back in June 2019, Global News wrote a feature about a viral post by a U.S. teacher, Jessica Gentry who recently quit her job as a teacher. In her post, she explained how the teaching profession put her mental and physical health at risk, largely due to the high expectations of her job and workload. With larger class sizes, disruption of technology in the classroom, and expectations to wear multiple hats at the same time, Jessica decide enough was enough and left the profession. Many educators have resonated with her struggles. Currently, her post had been shared over 200,000 times and has more than 160,000 likes.
Citing the lack of resources as the main stressor, she begged for more support but was told none would be available. She loves her students and is passionate about making a difference in their lives, but the emotional toll it has taken on her could no longer be ignored. Gentry decided she needed to care for herself so she can be there for her daughter.
It’s the same story year after year. Educators are being asked to do more with less, without the support and resources to achieve their plans.
The key stressors in teachers are increase classroom sizes, layoffs of much-needed teachers, additional budget cuts, fewer provisions for special needs students, and unsustainable workloads for educators.
Our very own Chief Science Officer and Founder, Dr. Andrew Miki, was featured in the article regarding his thoughts on the expectations of teachers.
Dr. Miki said, “Because the expectations of teachers are so high, many push themselves to meet the demands of their job. There’s a tendency for a lot of teachers to burn out because they have got a really high bar in terms of the standard of education that they want to deliver. The problem is that with such a high bar, there’s not enough resources, and this is not sustainable over time, and often leads to negative repercussions, like stress, anxiety, and depression. And because teaching is such an emotionally taxing job, it’s important educators get the support they need.”
Our Chief Science Officer mentioned that since teachers are great learners and students, CBT can be an incredibly helpful tool for dealing with workplace stress. And while treating stress is not one-size-fits-all, learning to manage it in a healthy way helps.
“One of the things that CBT really tries to teach people is to develop self-awareness around what your stressors are, what those patterns are, and how to better manage them. There’s a lot of different strategies and different ways to do it, but I think the challenge is that it’s so unique to the person that they’ve got to do it themselves through trial and error.”
Starling Minds is a digital Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) program for professionals across Canada that has programs designed for the unique stressors of teachers, principals, and vice-principals.
To read the rest of the news article, “It Breaks You: Teacher Goes Viral with Post about Why She Quit Her Job“.
Hensley, L. June 2019. It Breaks You: Teacher Goes Viral with Post about Why She Quit Her Job. Global News. DOI: June 29, 2019