Lijana Navickienė, Eglė Stasiūnaitienė, Ilona Kupčikienė
Teachers are among the professions reporting the highest level of work-related stress. This has a great impact on teachers‘ professional performance, job satisfaction, quality of their work and educational process. High level of stress adversaly affects teacher‘s motivation, social well-beeing and even physical and mental health.
The causes of teacher stress are related to activity requirements, work organization, working conditions, relationships, etc. Heavy workload, negative attitude towards teacher work in society, education reforms, role conflicts, lack of time, disrespectful behavior of learners, poor working conditions, high demands, hard-to-achieve outcomes – all these factors cause teachers‘ stress in their professional activity.
In order to investigate the problem of teachers‘ stress, it is important to identify not only the attitudes of teachers to the stress factors in teachers‘ professional activity but also those of school leaders. It is interesting to identify what, in school leaders views, are the main causes of teachers‘ stress and what stress management measures at the organization level would be the most effective for teachers to cope with their stress.
62 school leaders from Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, Slovenia and Lithuania participated in an international reseacrh on the causes of teachers‘ occupational stress and possible ways of managing it. The results of the study revealed that changing demands for teacher competencies, filling in documentation, low salary, noisy environments, unclear roles, lack of time to fulfill all the tasks, disrespectful learners‘ behavior, and tensions with colleagues and parents are the major stressors in the teaching profession. School leaders believe that the most appropriate ways to manage teacher stress include training on stress management techniques and conflict resolution. The study was conducted in the framework of the international project “Preventing Stress in the Teaching Profession-Stress Free Teachers”, No. 20163715 / 001-001.