This story is part of a special project called Big Ideas in which EdWeek reporters ask hard questions about K-12 education’s biggest challenges and offer insights based on their extensive coverage and expertise.
Teaching has been considered a high-stress job for years. And then the pandemic happened, and everything got worse.
Teacher stress levels skyrocketed as they pivoted to teaching online, in socially distanced classrooms, or both at the same time. They desperately tried to engage students who were checked out or who only appeared as a black box on Zoom. It was a grueling year, teachers said. And some say the start of this school year has been even worse, as the Delta variant threatens to upend in-person instruction once again. Teachers are also tasked both with catching students up academically and attending to their trauma and social-emotional needs.
I frequently talk to teachers from all over the country. I hear again and again: We’re exhausted. This isn’t sustainable. We’re not OK.
“I’ve never burned out on the kids. I’ve never burned out on my subject,” said Anne Sylvester, a former high school English teacher who left the profession this summer after more than 25 years in order to protect her mental health. “I’ve always enjoyed teaching, but the rest of it is exhausting and chronic.”
Sixty percent of teachers say they experience job-related stress frequently or always, according to a nationally representative survey by the EdWeek Research Center conducted in July. Just 9 percent say they never or rarely do. When asked what effects job-related stress has on them and their work, teachers commonly said they have a harder time sleeping, they’re less able to enjoy their free time with family or friends, and their physical health suffers.
And 41 percent of teachers said they feel like they’re less effective at their job when they’re stressed. Research shows that when teachers are stressed out, the quality of their instruction, classroom management, and relationships with students all suffer. And students tend to be more stressed when their teachers are, which could negatively affect their academic performance and engagement.
Yet, stress seems inevitable: Teachers tell me that over the past decade, they’ve had more and more responsibilities piled on their plates. There’s more of a focus on accountability and data points. Students’ non-academic needs seem greater. And over the past year, there’s been a growing amount of public scrutiny over what teachers are teaching and how they run their classrooms, leaving them feeling micromanaged and disrespected.
“The demands on teachers have gotten greater … and [they have] fewer resources and fewer choices—when you combine those two, you’re basically putting teachers in a vise,” said Patricia Jennings, a professor of education at the University of Virginia who studies teacher stress.
Teachers of color are in a particularly tough spot, as they experience both the isolation of working alongside predominately white colleagues and the pressure of often feeling obligated to lead conversations at their schools about racism and inequities, on top of all their other responsibilities. This pressure has been heightened by the national reckoning on race, as well as the public debate over how the nation’s history with racism is taught.
While teacher mental health has been getting more attention in recent years, 42 percent of teachers said administrators have not made any efforts to help relieve their stress. About one-fifth said their administrators have tried, but it didn’t help.
But here is the good news: Only 2 percent of teachers said there’s nothing their school or district could do to help relieve their stress. Administrators can help make teaching more sustainable—but it will require structural changes. Teachers commonly said it would help if their school or district provided additional time to plan or catch up, reduced class sizes, waived some expectations or required tasks during periods of particularly high stress, or reduced the number of required meetings.
But instead, many districts have offered programming that encourages self-care, which only 11 percent of teachers say would be helpful. Meredith Lesser-Gonzalez, a 5th grade teacher in Framingham, Mass., put it this way: “Do you want me to feel less stressed? Give me more time to read and respond to kids’ work.”
Encouraging yoga or meditation can’t make up for systemic issues that cause stress, experts say. “You can’t deep-breathe your way out of a pandemic; you cannot stretch your way out of terrible class sizes; you cannot ‘individual behavior’ your way out of structural problems,” said Chelsea Prax, the programs director of children’s health and well-being at the American Federation of Teachers. “Those are effective coping measures, but they don’t change the problem.”
She noted that districts are using their federal pandemic relief money to hire more staff and offer more programming, thus taking some responsibilities off teachers’ plates. But she’s heard from educators that they’re concerned that in a few years, the money will run out, and teachers will be back to square one.
To make teaching sustainable long-term, administrators must empower teachers by giving them a seat at the table and incorporating their input into any new initiatives, Jennings said. “If we’re going to give them more responsibility, give them a lot more freedom and choice,” she said.
Otherwise, the unrelenting stress will take its toll. More than a quarter of teachers said job-related stress leads them to think often about quitting, and 16 percent said they dread going to work every day, according to the EdWeek survey. While many of them won’t ultimately leave their jobs, that level of burnout will still have implications for student success and the long-term health of the profession. Already, fewer young people are studying to become teachers than a decade ago, and many teachers say they wouldn’t want their own children to follow in their footsteps.
“Nobody wants to learn from a teacher who is unhappy or dissatisfied in their job,” Danna Thomas, a former kindergarten teacher and the founder of Happy Teacher Revolution, told me. “Nobody wants to work across the hallway or sit in a staff meeting next to someone who’s unhappy.”
Happy Teacher Revolution started as a support group for teachers at Thomas’ school in Baltimore and has expanded to more than 300 schools across the United States and other countries. Teachers meet regularly to connect, offer advice, and encourage each other to set boundaries to prioritize their well-being. The group trains educators to serve as facilitators for their school and help their peers learn to manage their own emotions to address or prevent burnout. Thomas said survey results show that teachers who participate in Happy Teacher Revolution meetings report feeling calmer and less isolated.
Teachers advocating for their own mental health and putting in place boundaries, Thomas said, “is a revolutionary act.” But it doesn’t have to be. If school and district leaders prioritize teacher well-being in structural ways, their educators will be better equipped to tackle the myriad of student needs stemming from the pandemic and societal inequities. Teachers, their students, and the entire school community will thrive.
A version of this article appeared in the September 15, 2021 edition of Education Week as Teachers Are Not OK, Even Though We Need Them to Be
Carrots Have These 8 Amazing, Surprising Health Benefits
Initially, the vegetable originated in the geological area and the Asian United States, and it was initially only available in purple and yellow hues. Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene, a natural mineral introduced by the body to provide sustenance, and they are high in fibre.
Carrots, which are crunchy, orange, and delicious, provide a variety of benefits to our health, pores, skin, and hair. These don’t appear to be particularly tasty, but they are loaded with numerous important nutrients, for example, beta-carotene, cell reinforcements, potassium, fibre, sustenance K, and so on.
Carrots are cultivated to promote eye health, lower dangerous LDL cholesterol, and aid in weight loss. Let’s put it to the test and find out why carrots are so good for you!
The following are twelve effective edges you might get from carrots:
1. Supports gadget
Most importantly, carrots contain a few phytochemicals that are well-known for their cancer-causing properties. Carotenoids and carotenoids are present in more than one of these associations. Overall, compounds create resistance and activate specific proteins that prevent the growth of most tumor cells. An investigation reveals on a screen that carrot juice can also fight leukemia.
2. Advances Glowing Skin
Investigate tips that stop outcome, and vegetables well off in those composites will finish pores and pores and skin ground and work with people’s appearances, thus making them more noteworthy young.
3. Fortifies Bones
Carrots are high in vitamins, minerals, and cancer-fighting agents. Vitamins B6 and K, potassium, phosphorous, and other minerals contribute to bone health, a more durable, and help with mental performance. Aside from selling the body to free extreme annihilation, cancer prevention agents keep an eye on the casing in the course of dangerous microbes, infections, and diseases. Physical cell digestion is managed by the ophthalmic component. Carotenoids have been linked to improved bone health.
4. Advances Male physiological circumstance (ED)
These fruitfulness meals may increase the number of sperm cells and their motility. According to research, this is a direct result of the fake carotenoids found in carrots, which are responsible for the vegetable’s orange color. However, it is still unknown whether carrots can improve sperm enjoyment and motility. Carrots are being tried to improve food for male physiological conditions and erectile dysfunction. Cenforce FM and Cenforce D can be used to treat impotency.
5. Keeps From Cancer and Stroke
Carrots have an unusual endowment in that they are loaded down with anti-cancer resources that will depress the cells’ blast. Essentially, studies have discovered that carrots can reduce the risk of a variety of diseases, including colon, breast, and prostate cancer.
6. Further develops the natural framework Health
Carrots contain a significant amount of dietary fibre, which plays an important role in supporting healthy stomach function. Fibre expands your stool, allowing it to pass more easily through the stomach-related plot and preventing stoppage.
7. Assists with managing polygenic affliction and basic sign
Carrots are high in fibre, which promotes cardiovascular health by lowering LDL cholesterol levels in veins and blood vessels. Calcium is absorbed through the frame of carrots, resulting in low but dangerous cholesterol levels.
Carrots have an unbalanced fibre content. An investigation found that advanced fibre consumption improves aldohexose digestion in people with the polygenic disorder. Following a healthy, well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Inconsistencies in glucose digestion may require a high level to combat aerophilic strain, and this is frequently where the inhibitor nutrients dilettanti ophthalmic thing axerophthol fats-solvent sustenance may also benefit.
According to one review, juice provided a 5 wrinkle inside the beat fundamental sign. The supplements in carrot juice, with fibre, K, nitrates, and vitamin C, have all been obtained to help this final product.
8. Advances Healthy Heart
To begin with, each cancer prevention agent is beneficial to your coronary heart. Furthermore, at 0.33, they should contain fibre, which can help you stay in shape and lower your chances of having a heart attack.
9. Forestalls devolution
Edges that are hostile to ophthalmic detail ensure the floor of the eye and provide a sharp inventiveness and perception. Taking juice will help to delay many eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and visual impairment. Overall, carrots contain lutein, which is an inhibitor that protects the eye from obliterating light.
10. Works on urinary organ and Liver perform
Carrots contain glutathione. Cell reinforcement has been shown to be effective in treating liver disease caused by aerophilic strains. The greens are high in plant flavonoids and beta-carotene, both of which stimulate and develop your popular liver component. Carrots contain carotenoid, which can help fight liver problems.
11. Palatable Anti-Aging
Along with carrots on your regular food, you will appreciate limiting the way you get more seasoned. Furthermore, beta-carotene functions as an inhibitor that advances cell harm, which happens as a result of the casing’s normal digestion.
12. Advances Weight Loss
Uncooked Carrots are 88% water when raw or ebb and flow. A regular carrot has the lowest difficulty level of 25 energy. Taking everything into consideration, including carrots in your diet is a wise way to fuel yourself while collecting calories.