'I felt like a loser and lost all my confidence' Mary Chan, 30, Secondary School Teacher Suffered months of sleepless nights and depression, worsened by work stress "I felt so depressed at one point that I walked out of my classroom in the middle of a lesson and wanted to run up to the rooftop and jump to my death," she said.
Problem of teacher stress exists in many schools including our school and this problem needs to be tackled without delay!
What is stress? A complex issue induced by various factors and agents.
Reforms blamed for stress in teachers SCMP 2006-12-09 - Education legislator and head of the Professional Teachers' Union, Cheung Man-kwong, said he hoped the commission would face the fact that education reform and the threat of school closures were at the root of teacher stress. - Teachers in Hong Kong have been found to be the most disturbed by students' emotional and behavioural problems. Stress blamed for teachers' injuries SCMP 2006-01-20 - percentage of teachers feeling great work pressure had risen by 10 percent over the past four years, compared with a similar study in 2002.
In 2006, two teachers committed suicide because of the heavy workload and pressure. →work pressure was partly responsible for the suicide of teachers. STRESS brings immense negative impacts.
Teacher Stress Heavy Workload Increasing amount of administrative work because of education reforms Students’ behaviour
Students’ emotional and behavioural problems changes in student profile presented fresh challengeschanges in student profile presented fresh challenges emergence of single-parent or single- child family imposed a greater burden on teachersemergence of single-parent or single- child family imposed a greater burden on teachers → Teachers often spend greater time and energy on students’ behavioural problems
Feel depressed when teachers cannot manage to handle the students from diverse background and classroom discipline A weak sense of satisfaction in teaching A great degree of self-doubt → Increase teachers’ pressure
Increasing administrative work Education reform→ forced to work longer hours Brought new tasks and challenges Demands for multi-faceted skills in a fast- changing work environment → Need more trainings → added burden of teachers’ workload
Teachers usually worked: -4.6 hours a day for non-school days -10 hours a day on a school day A figure estimated by the Committee on Teachers’ Work
Solution Professor Edmond Ko( Chairman of the Committee): The Education and Manpower Bureau has taken the following measures to tackle the problem of teacher stress
1. A new hotline for distressed teachers is set up ->easier for them to figure out the solution 2. The EMB has simplified the process of school- based assessments for Chinese and English
Extra $1.65 billion cash was given to schools to hire more administrators and top up their IT provisions for administrative purpose -> improve efficiency and reduce the administrative burden of teachers.
The EMB has improved the arrangements for external school review and has opened the Quality Education Fund to application
The government: introduce voluntary redundancies and reduce the student-to-teacher ratio introduce a small-class policy introduce a small-class policy ->reduce teachers’ stress ->facilitate the volition in teaching practices
School Accountability System: An immediate termination of school-based assessment The EMB: reduce the frequency of school inspections (from once every four years to every eight years)
Stress Management and Healthy Workforce Teachers’ Education Insititute : place greater emphasis on teacher education programmes and on the physical and mental well being of teacher.
Stress Management and Healthy Workforce Teachers’ professional development could include components that address self management ->help them to refine healthy life skills throughout their career e.g positive attitude, healthy coping techniques and time management.
Policy initiative regular and open dialogue between the EMB and teachers to summarize teachers ’ opinions ->facilitate a better flow of feedback that will help clarify query ->a climate of trust can be built to facilitate long-term partnership.
As a form 6 students, we should take ownership in learning and find ways to improve ourselves to let teachers feel satisfied It is hoped that the Education and Manpower Bureau would get the recommendation off the ground ->teachers can do what they are best at and enhance students’ learning. Conclusion
1.What are reasons for Hong Kong teachers to be facing stress? 2.What could be the result of undue stress on teachers? 3.What measures should the Education and Manpower Bureau take to alleviate the problem of teacher stress in long term? 4.What has the government done to remedy the problem of teacher stress? 5.As a form 6 student, what can you do to ease the problem?