ERIC Number: ED209212
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Self-Help Support Groups for Teachers Under Stress.
Walley, William V.; Stokes, Joseph P.
The development of a program of self-help support groups for teachers experiencing stress in Chicago public schools is described. These support groups attempted to alleviate stress-related illness by reducing teacher isolation and by enabling teachers to help each other cope with problems and fears. The support groups were led by teachers who volunteered to attend 36 hours of training sessions. Training emphasized generic listening, communication, and feedback skills. Experts in hypnosis and relaxation, nutrition, and exercise made presentations to the trainees and discussed how these topics are related to stress. The support groups focused on stressful conditions which members faced when teaching. Everyone in the group briefly described a current problem, and the group decided which problem to discuss. Methods of coping were discussed by the group under the leadership of the trained volunteer, and possible solutions were considered. The member with the problem chose a solution to try in the upcoming week and selected a partner with whom to share progress and discuss difficulties. During the school year, 159 teachers contacted the program staff, and 128 were assigned to a support group. Evaluation of the program proved to be difficult. This is attributed, in part, to the fact that volunteer facilitators were not sufficiently committed to the research design of pre- and post-test evaluation methodology. Several changes are being made in the program for next year in an attempt to increase the number of participants and to obtain a systematic evaluation of the program. (JD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A