Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)

Department

Department of Graduate Psychology

Advisor(s)

Dr. Renee Staton

Abstract

Teacher stress comes from a variety of sources: accountability pressures, lack of time to relax, students who are not motivated, excessive duties and responsibilities that go beyond the classroom, testing pressure, large class size, lack of administrative support, and general concern for the safety and well being of their students (Richards, 2012). As a result of the constant high stress, more teachers are reporting mental/physical health issues and leaving the profession (Richards, 2012). One way to help deal with the stress teachers are feeling is to strengthen the teacher from within by using the resources they have already. This paper focuses on a wellness workshop for teachers. The workshop has three core components: cognitions, social support, and behavior techniques. Twenty teachers from the Mississippi Teacher Corps attended a 3.5-hour workshop. All twenty teachers are in their first year of teaching and are in high needs, low performing schools in Mississippi. In their post-workshop reflections, the participants found all three components of the workshop helpful. The participants stated how powerful it was to step back and take a moment to think about themselves and how they are actually doing. Implications from this study include an understanding of specific activities and topics for discussion that could be used with teachers as they train to enter the profession or those who are currently in the field. From here, research may look into the long-term effectiveness of workshops such as the one presented. Another possible area of research is looking into the impact of each individual component of the workshop.

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