Stress and the ESL teacher

Stress and the ESL teacher
1 answers
As a novice ESL teacher, the first thing you should be aware of is that your ESL students will often be conscious of your mental and physical state; they will sense when something is ‘wrong’ with their teacher. This can impact negatively on their learning experience: especially if your inability to cope with your stress manifests itself in unacceptable behaviour such as shouting, anger, and impatience. Consequently, you should try to manage your stress if you are to effectively teach your ESL students. In TEFL you can expect to encounter stress in your everyday dealings with the ESL staff, red tape, and classroom teaching: it will be mainly classroom teaching and all its concomitant responsibilities that will be the most stressful. Here are some suggested tips for stress management that will help you cope better with your stress.1. Before you start each day, think about what you will have to deal with on that day, and prepare yourself in advance. Don’t forget that unexpected things do happen, and this can at times be stressful.2. Don’t try to be a perfectionist: this can lead to a lot of stress. After all, we learn by our mistakes.3. Exercise regularly. This is an effective way of eliminating stress and frustration.4. Don’t allow the students to wind you up, and don’t dwell on yesterday’s altercations: let bygones be bygones.5. Enjoy a good social life, and make time for your hobbies.6. Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, drug-taking, or engaging in any other forms of self-harming behaviour in order to cope with stress.7. Make sure that you get enough sleep: try to get about eight hours sleep each night. 8. Try to laugh at things instead of looking at everything from a serious point of view, watch comedies, and develop a better sense of humour.9. Work out a strategy for dealing with stressful situations. 10. If your ESL post has a lot of red tape, set aside a certain amount of time each day for dealing with the paperwork.11. Discuss your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust: research tends to suggest that this is very beneficial for relieving stress.12. Remember to treat every day as a new day – and don’t become despondent if it turns out to be a stressful one.13. If the situation is grave, consult a psychologist. Don’t be embarrassed – it’s perfectly normal. 

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