Teacher Stress – R. Sergio Guglielmi and Kristin Tatrow

I think this a particularly important article for David (and others interested in teacher stress) to reflect on where this research was in 1998 when this was published and has moved since then. I also find this article interesting on a more personal level, thinking about my own experiences with teacher stress and my coping mechanisms and health. For my own research I am still thinking about ways to document my stress and emotional experiences after teaching my Global Environment course as a way to reflect and learn to manage my emotions.

Obviously this article raised many of the limitations of the existing teacher stress/health relationship research and I had many questions for you David about how you see your work addressing some of these limitations. How are you thinking about using this paper? Are you thinking about one particular model for teaching or another variation of one of the models that incorporates some of the variables that were discussed that are often limited in these models (individual personality, gender, type of teacher)? Do you plan to strictly do a quantitative analysis or will you include some of your qualitative findings? How are you defining stress, burnout, and how will you be “measuring” stress?  Do you believe that teacher stress can be measured? How do you hope your research will address some of these limitations into this kind of research on teacher stress that are raised in the paper?

I am curious since this article has been published has more work come out on some of the health patterns associated with teacher stress? Has research built more theory around some of the teacher stress and health factors? Not knowing much about how this field of research has progressed since 1998, it seems like there is a lot of work that can be done and exciting that a few members of our class are tackling this issue from multiple perspectives. I think the issue of gender that David has mentioned before would also be interesting and I was wondering if there are other ways that women physiologically express their stress and if anyone has looked into this more?

In thinking about prescriptions for teacher stress, where do the types of prescriptions you have been talking about, mindfulness, social supports, etc…come from? Are they supported by the research or is that what Ken’s group is really thinking about and working on? I can see how your idea of the creation of a space for teachers to share their thoughts would be beneficial as it seems like social supports can alleviate some teacher stress according to this paper.

One thought I had was about the distinction between public and private workers? As public employees there are situations that teachers must deal with, a level of disinvestment and strain that is being placed on the profession by larger federal and state policies…as well as the range of unequal environments that are experienced, some raised in the discussion of lack of support, lack of decision making power, lack of resources, and high demands.

One of the most interesting parts of this paper to me was how in the United States we tend to value the person-environment fit model, which emphasizes the individual ability to withstand stress. This speaks to the U.S. ethic of worker productivity and individual competition…whoever can withstand the most stress gets the job, a value that we pass along to our students in our classrooms. Whereas in Europe, the demand-control model has been more utilized to address work stress, a model which places the intervention and responsibility for stress on the organization as opposed to the individual.

One thought on “Teacher Stress – R. Sergio Guglielmi and Kristin Tatrow

  1. Bisola Neil

    I did a quick review of the literature and it seems as though much research post the late 1990s but I did find one interesting article. It seems as though the impact of teacher stress and its influences on teachers to leave has disappeared past the 1990s which erringly coincides with the sweeping changes in school reform and the marketization of education.

    This is why I am committed to researching the school organization factors that lead to teacher stress.

    Marissa, I am curious, I did not understand the person-organization model the way you did, my understanding of the model is the mismatch between the employee perception’s on what the job will be and what it is leading to stress, how one’s threshold for stress. Did this come from the article or outside? I think this is why the dearth in this area needs to be fleshed out.

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