Stress Levels of School Administrators and Teachers in November and January
Academic Leadership - Online Journal,
Vol. 7 No. 2 (2006): Vol-7-Issue-2-February-2006
Teaching today’s young people is not only arduous work, but can be dangerously stressful. Anxiety due
to school reform efforts, minimal administrative support, poor working circumstances, lack of
involvement in school decision making, the encumbrance of paperwork, and lack of resources have all
been identified as factors that can cause stress among educators (Hammond & Onikama, 1997). The
No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and its subsequential mandated standardized assessments, family
responsibilities, continuing education, low salaries, and poor working conditions can also create
A certain amount of stress in education is predictable, even constructive. The exhilaration and
challenges of educating children will physically cause adrenaline levels associated with stress to
increase. However, educators differ radically from one another in the degree to which they are able to
identify and manage stress. Stress is the physiological and emotional reaction to psychological events.
Any event triggering the formerly life-saving, ancient “fight or flight” response is a stressor. Unrelieved,
the cumulative, physical strain generated by psychological stress can harm the body. Stress is a
consistent, exaggerated, and overwhelming sense of urgency, often coupled with frustration. The
dichotomy of stress as a motivator or negative force in school contributes significantly to the emergent
shortage of qualified school administrators and teachers (Goodwin, Cunningham, & Childress, 2003).
According to Botwinik (2007), it is easy for an educator to become overstressed. Education and stress
has seemingly now become one common bond in American society (Kiser, 2007).
To enhance educators’ awareness of stress and activities designed to lower stress;