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ERIC Number: EJ1092886
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0599
Optimizing Special Educator Wellness and Job Performance through Stress Management
Ansley, Brandis M.; Houchins, David; Varjas, Kris
TEACHING Exceptional Children, v48 n4 p176-185 Mar-Apr 2016
In addition to the stressors common to many K-12 teachers, such as high-stakes testing, a lack of autonomy, and high mental and emotional demands, special educators also address the unique needs of their students, team-teach, and maintain caseload responsibilities (Emery & Vandenberg, 2010). Many who enter the profession are fulfilled by the nature of their work, which involves helping students overcome obstacles. Yet, to effectively do so, special education teachers must balance multiple roles that require them to sustain high levels of physical and mental energy over extended periods. Such high demands in the job design of special educators could lead to chronic and persistent stress and adversely affect their wellness, job performance, and ultimately, student outcomes (Emery & Vandenberg, 2010; Jennings & Greenberg, 2009; Shen et al., 2015). Fortunately, effective coping strategies can be self-taught by using quality informational resources or by hiring professionals who specialize in wellness or stress management (e.g., counselors, personal trainers, life coaches). Coping skills can be practiced individually, with a group of people, informally, or even under the supervision of a trained professional. As this article points out, special educator instructors have been using stress management skills concepts due to their knowledge of using different strategies and finding what works best for individuals as they routinely draft and execute personalized plans specific for their students. Similarly, special educators can apply their differentiation skills to create their own personalized plans for coping effectively with stress. The goal of stress reduction plans should be to reduce thoughts and behaviors that exacerbate stress and replace these with thoughts and behaviors that improve wellness.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A