Unit 3: Managing stress

Duration: 
1-2 hours

Understand stress in a different light; a natural mechanism to keep us alive and well and develop strategies to build your own personal resilience.

Session overview
Participants: 
Assistant head, Deputy head, Headteacher
Phase: 
Primary, Secondary

Aims and outcomes

Participants will:

  • appreciate their value as a staff member (non-teaching staff can participate in this unit)
  • understand what stress is
  • explore the causes of stress
  • recognise stress signals
  • develop strategies to counteract stress and build personal resilience
  • have fun!

This course is suitable for use with all colleagues.

Rationale and context

Everyone responds to situations differently. Some people are naturally more sensitive or easily excitable than others. Some people manage stress by holding everything in, some manage stress by letting everything out. There are no hard and fast rules about the best ways to approach and handle stress (except keeping it non-violent).

Stress is often perceived as bad. However, this unit serves to highlight how important stress is as a natural mechanism to keep us alive and well. It will expose the seriousness of chronic long-term (low- and high-level) stress.

The key to understanding stress is to recognise that a situation is simply a situation. It is the meaning placed upon that situation that labels it as either peaceful or stressful. Every situation is an opportunity to observe your perception and then challenge it if necessary. True balance comes when you genuinely appreciate there will always be two sides to every situation or experience. Often an experience that was originally considered terrible eventually turns out to be a wonderful opportunity.

This unit aims to open constructive and honest dialogue about stress and the best ways to manage it. It is a wonderful opportunity for the SLT to demonstrate how much they value their staff and together build strong supportive structures which will encourage outstanding performance in the classroom.