It’s normal to assume that the only human beings getting stressed out by exams are the poor pupils writing them. And that is a very good point if you think about it – they are the ones that have been studying and revising like crazy and have to deal with those trick questions and the ‘going-blank-moments’. Teachers, however, feel the pressure and stress twice as much at times.
Many teachers feel they’re expected to perform miracles and they are usually the ones in the firing line when the marks aren’t great. Many students and parents believe that it is in a teacher’s job description to ensure that good marks are obtained. If they perform poorly, the first things that are scrutinised are teachers’ lessons or classroom methods. Unfortunately, exams are unavoidable and part of life for any teacher. The secret is coping with exam stress. Here are a few tips worth trying:
Firstly you need to recognise it exists – denial is not an option whatsoever. Talk about exams and all the stress you are experiencing – whether it is sharing with a colleague or your better half over a glass of wine – saying it out loud is better than any therapy. Make sure you allocate some time in your day dedicated to any physical activity. It is amazing how endorphins can change the course of your day, and your mood. It is also imperative to make sure that you have something amazing to look forward to when the exam season is over, whether it is a long relaxing holiday on white sandy beaches or just chilling at home without a red pen or book in sight.
You may not be able to change the situation that’s causing you all this stress but you can develop a coping strategy. Taking control of stress is massively empowering and make sure you value yourself and recognise the huge contribution you are making! Remember dear teacher: this too shall pass!