Proactively Managing Classroom Stress

  • Keep in regular communication with the parents of your students. They should never be surprised by their child’s grades or lack of achievement.
  • Never take things personally—especially not the actions of a child.
  • Never engage in power struggles with a child.  You are the adult.
  • Complete tasks immediately.
  • Keep a desk calendar to remind yourself of important events.  Update it after meetings and as you read your email.  Also use your calendar to jot down reminders of promises that you may have made to parents of anything you said you will send home or do.  Follow through is essential.
  • File important papers (or any papers for that matter) immediately.  It only takes 8 seconds to grab a manila folder, jot a subject header, put in the paper and file it in ABC order.  You will be grateful later when you are able to find your papers immediately.  This will also help your areas to remain clutter free.
  • Always be prepared.  Lesson plans should be completed at least a week in advance.  Materials needed for the entire week should be assembled before the week even begins.  This will allow you to focus on succinct instruction and students needs rather than haphazardly rummaging for materials as you go.
  • Foresee unforeseeable events.  As you are planning think about potential issues before they occur so you will be armed with a plan.
  • Grade papers immediately.  Students and their parents need to know grades and scores as soon as possible.  This gives them ample opportunity for them to help their child and for you to plan necessary interventions so failure does not continue.
  • Always keep THREE DAYS of generic emergency sub plans (according to your class schedule in a clasped manila envelope).  In case of unforeseen illness or emergency the substitute teacher will be prepared.
  • Create positive bonds between you, the students and their parents.  Expect and model respectful and responsible behavior. 
  • Foster a community of caring between your students.  They should be trained and able to help each other.  This will not only improve the classroom climate but will prepare them for real life.
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