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for teachers against stress

Teachers Are Living in a Tinderbox of Stressful Conditions. These Scientific Approaches Can Help.

By Sheila Ohlsson Walker     Jul 1, 2020

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2020-07-01-teachers-are-living-in-a-tinderbox-of-stressful-conditions-these-scientific-approaches-can-help

Other essential elements include meditation, breathwork, yoga, cultivating and maintaining high-quality relationships, and intentional reinforcement of mindsets that promote human connection, such as gratitude, altruism and collective efficacy. What’s real in the mind is real is real in the body, and it is our perceptions—not “objective” reality—that drive our biochemistry. Accordingly, finding a silver lining—even under the most dire of circumstances—instigates a biochemical “upward spiral” which fosters constructive thinking in a demanding moment and, over the long-term, protects health and psychological well-being.

meditation and stress

Participating in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress. from r/science

Eight weeks to a better brain

a team led by Harvard-affiliated researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)

“Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day,” says study senior author Sara Lazar of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and a Harvard Medical School instructor in psychology

“It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life,” says Britta Hölzel, first author of the paper and a research fellow at MGH and Giessen University in Germany.

Amishi Jha, a University of Miami neuroscientist who investigates mindfulness-training’s effects on individuals in high-stress situations, says, “These results shed light on the mechanisms of action of mindfulness-based training.

calming strategies against stress

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-12-26-teaching-is-as-stressful-as-an-er-these-calming-strategies-can-help

researchers from Penn State say can be as stress-inducing as an emergency room. Teachers enter such an an environment every day, which sometimes feels like life-or-death.

nonprofit program Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE)

half of the students in schools across America have experienced some form of trauma, violence or chronic stress.

After collecting data on those educators’ well-being, observations of classrooms and student behavioral reports over the course of a year, we found that teachers who received emotional regulation training were more emotionally supportive, demonstrated greater sensitivity to student needs, and provided more positive and productive classroom environments. Furthermore, when assessing teachers’ stress levels, those teachers noted considerably less distress, and an improved ability to manage their emotions.

In the face of stressful situations, I instead used techniques like deep breathing and mindful walking to calm my body and mind, gaining that heightened self-awareness to thoughtfully respond to the issue at hand.

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more on stress in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=stress

stress educators

Educators Are More Stressed at Work Than Average People, Survey Finds

By Madeline Will on October 30, 2017 3:25 PM

http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_now/2017/10/educator_stress_aft_bat.html

The survey, released by the American Federation of Teachers and the advocacy group Badass Teachers Association on Monday, included responses from about 5,000 educators. It follows a 2015 survey on educator stress—and finds that stress levels have grown and mental health has declined for this group in the past two years.

 

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more on stress, mindfulness in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=stress

https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=mindfulness

Reducing teacher stress multiple strategies

Harper, A. (2019, April 2). Reducing teacher stress may require multiple strategies. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from Education Dive website: https://www.educationdive.com/news/reducing-teacher-stress-may-require-multiple-strategies/551604/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Issue:%202019-04-02%20K-12%20Education%20Dive%20Newsletter%20%5Bissue:20185%5D&utm_term=Education%20Dive:%20K12

  • In the face of mounting testing pressures, rapidly changing reform efforts and student circumstances over which teachers feel little control, more than half of teachers consider their jobs to be highly stressful, which is affecting teacher absenteeism rates, retention and student achievement, according to The Hechinger Report.
  • There is a growing trend to address teachers’ mental health through stress-reduction and resiliency-building exercises. These include yoga and programs such as those offered by the Center for ResilienceBreathe for Change and mindfulness training offered through Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education. However, these efforts are mere triage and only offer short-term solutions, some experts say.
  • Education leaders can offer longer-term solutions that address root issues by providing mentoring support in schools rather than bringing in outside experts, rolling out new initiatives in a more teacher-centered way, and involving teachers in discussions about what works best for students.

But principals also need to build relationships with teachers themselves to create a sense of trust and more open and honest lines of communication. Good teachers are hard to find and losing them to stress is not a good option. Finding ways to solve the issues that are causing them stress and helping them deal with the inevitable pressures along the way is well worth the effort in the long run.

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more on stress
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=stress

Secondary Traumatic Stress for Educators

Secondary Traumatic Stress for Educators: Understanding and Mitigating the Effects

Roughly half of American school children have experienced at least some form of trauma — from neglect, to abuse, to violence. In response, educators often find themselves having to take on the role of counselors, supporting the emotional healing of their students, not just their academic growth.
The condition has numerous names: secondary traumatic stress (STS), vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue.
The symptoms are similar in some ways to post-traumatic stress disorder: withdrawing from friends and family; feeling unexplainably irritable or angry or numb; inability to focus; blaming others; feeling hopeless or isolated or guilty about not doing enough; struggling to concentrate; being unable to sleep; overeating or not eating enough; and continually and persistently worrying about students, when they’re at home and even in their sleep.
One of the handful of studies of STS in schools found that more than 200 staff surveyed from across six schools reported very high levels of STS.
STS can affect teachers’ happiness, health and professional practice. But Betsy McAlister Groves, a clinical social worker and former faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, says that she has often been surprised by the number of teachers, school counselors and administrators who recognized the cumulative stressors that they faced in their schools but did not realize that their symptoms were a common reaction to working with traumatized children — and that these symptoms had a name.

How Schools Can Acknowledge Secondary Trauma:
Building a Culture of Awareness
Create Peer Groups
Trauma-Informed Schools: School leaders should take a school-wide approach. There is a growing movement around creating trauma-informed schools — schools that recognize and are prepared to support community members affected by trauma and traumatic stress. Such schools deeply integrate social-emotional learning into their teaching, culture and approach, understanding that the holistic health and wellbeing of their charges is essential for achieving academic success.

Resource for teachers and schools

  • Assess how your work as an educator might be affecting you (both positively and negatively) by using the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) self-assessment tool and exploring the toolkit created by Teaching Tolerance to learn self-care strategies.
  • Learn how, as an educator, you can begin to identify secondary traumatic stress and learn strategies for self care through the tip sheet created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
  • Explore the resources created by the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative, a collaboration between the Massachusetts Advocates for Children and the Harvard Law School.
  • How strong are your school’s trauma-responsive programs and policies? Take the 20-minute evidence-informed Trauma Responsive Schools Implementation Assessment to find out — and learn ways to grow your school’s work.
  • Learn about additional individual and organization strategies for addressing secondary traumatic stress, compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Stay tuned for a new online curriculum for preK–12 teachers, named STAT (Support for Teachers Affected by Trauma), being created by experts in the fields of secondary traumatic stress, education, and technology. The curriculum, due for a 2019 launch, will feature five modules on risk factors, the impact of STS, and self-assessment, among related topics.

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more on mindfulness in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=mindful

VR and stress reduction project

#Video360

Posted by InforMedia Services on Tuesday, August 7, 2018

taking video with Vuze: considering different scenes:

  • in the river, with sound of river and geese
  • in the woods lower level camera

discussion about the length of the video segment

contact SCSU faculty: https://www.stcloudstate.edu/cpcf/faculty-staff.aspx

kaschulze@stcloudstate.edu ,nmmerchant@stcloudstate.edu memayhew@stcloudstate.edu kpmayhew@stcloudstate.edu dpmacari@stcloudstate.edu smhoover@stcloudstate.edu tlestrem@stcloudstate.edu

student-centered learning

Report: Most educators aren’t equipped for student-centered learning

https://www.educationdive.com/news/report-most-educators-arent-equipped-for-student-centered-learning/585012/

“the perfect combination of catalysts for a rapid conversion to student-centered schooling,” according to a new report from the Christensen Institute.

most K-12 educators aren’t equipped with the skill sets needed to run student-centered schools. For student-centered learning to be adopted, educators must be trained for student-centered competencies,

the report suggests school and district leaders:

  • Work toward a more modular professional development system, which includes specific, verifiable and predictable microcredentials.
  • Specify competencies needed for student-centered educators.
  • Compensate educators with bonuses for microcredentials to incentivize earning them.
  • Purchase bulk licenses to allow teachers the opportunity to earn microcredentials.
  • Demand and pay for mastery of skills rather than a one-time workshop.
  • Vet microcredential issuers’ verification processes, like rubrics and evaluation systems.

While testing could help with personalized instruction, a report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education stressed the need for professional development so teachers can interpret the resulting data and let it guide instruction this year.micr

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more on microcredentials in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=microcredential

Populism vs Meritocracy

Michael Sandel: ‘The populist backlash has been a revolt against the tyranny of merit’

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/sep/06/michael-sandel-the-populist-backlash-has-been-a-revolt-against-the-tyranny-of-merit

Even a perfect meritocracy, he says, would be a bad thing.

Centre-left elites abandoned old class loyalties and took on a new role as moralising life-coaches, dedicated to helping working-class individuals shape up to a world in which they were on their own. “On globalisation,” says Sandel, “these parties said the choice was no longer between left and right, but between ‘open’ and ‘closed’. Open meant free flow of capital, goods and people across borders.”

“Those at the top deserved their place but so too did those who were left behind. They hadn’t striven as effectively. They hadn’t got a university degree and so on.” As centre-left parties and their representatives became more and more middle-class, the focus on upward mobility intensified.

Blue-collar workers were in effect given a double-edged invitation to “better” themselves or carry the burden of their own failure. Many took their votes elsewhere, nursing a sense of betrayal. “The populist backlash of recent years has been a revolt against the tyranny of merit, as it has been experienced by those who feel humiliated by meritocracy and by this entire political project.”

Does he empathise, then, with Trumpism? “I have no sympathy whatsoever for Donald Trump, who is a pernicious character. But my book conveys a sympathetic understanding of the people who voted for him. For all the thousands and thousands of lies Trump tells, the one authentic thing about him is his deep sense of insecurity and resentment against elites, which he thinks have looked down upon him throughout his life. That does provide a very important clue to his political appeal.

“Am I tough on the Democrats? Yes, because it was their uncritical embrace of market assumptions and meritocracy that prepared the way for Trump. Even if Trump is defeated in the next election and is somehow extracted from the Oval Office, the Democratic party will not succeed unless it redefines its mission to be more attentive to legitimate grievances and resentment, to which progressive politics contributed during the era of globalisation.”

“We need to rethink the role of universities as arbiters of opportunity,” he says, “which is something we have come to take for granted. Credentialism has become the last acceptable prejudice. It would be a serious mistake to leave the issue of investment in vocational training and apprenticeships to the right. Greater investment is important not only to support the ability of people without an advanced degree to make a living. The public recognition it conveys can help shift attitudes towards a better appreciation of the contribution to the common good made by people who haven’t been to university.”

A new respect and status for the non-credentialed, he says, should be accompanied by a belated humility on the part of the winners in the supposedly meritocratic race.

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Why meritocracy isn’t working

https://www.ft.com/content/f881fb55-8f06-4508-a812-815a10505077

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As we “knowledge workers” know, clever people aren’t always the most collaborative. And what they have in brainpower, they often lack in empathy. We live, after all, in a cognitive meritocracy in which IQ is valued much more highly than EQ (emotional intelligence) or most physical abilities.

political analyst David Goodhart, whose new book Head, Hand, Heart

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Over the past several decades, as traditional class structures in countries such as the US and the UK began to break down, they were replaced by a new system of educational and professional advancement based on test scores, grades and intelligence, at least as narrowly defined by IQ. Suddenly, smart working-class kids could become part of a meritocratic elite.

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But there was a dark side. As British sociologist Michael Young observed when he coined the term in his prescient book of dystopian fiction The Rise of the Meritocracy (1958),

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members of the working class must judge themselves not by their own standards — in which traits of character, experience, common sense and grit are often as important as test-based intelligence — but by the standards of the meritocratic elite. Without the appropriate degrees, professional qualifications and opinions sanctioned by their educated overlords, they were all too often deemed unworthy — or as Hillary Clinton once put it in a quip that helped end her political career, “deplorables”.

In their book Deaths of Despair, Anne Case and Angus Deaton spelt out the toll this has taken on working-class white men in particular. Contempt can be just as lethal as poverty — low status in a hierarchy produces the stress and anxiety that trigger immune system-damaging cortisol to be released in the body.

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more on populism in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=populism

on meritocracty in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=meritocracy

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