Causal factors in teacher stress and morale : causes of absenteeism, low morale, illness and loss of efficiency among secondary school teachers with recommendations for the improvement of working conditions, effectiveness and the self-concept of teachers
Problems that face teachers, especially those in secondary schools, are discussed. How they have developed over the years to what is now considered to be a crisis level, the increase in absenteeism and illness of the teaching force are also reviewed. A review of existing material explains the nature of stress. The psychobiological aspects are reviewed paying particular attention to the many coping mechanisms that the person will employ and explains how perceptions of situations can play a vital role. Factors that create stress for the teacher are discussed and categorised into familiar sections including pupils, working conditions, working in an organisation, the effects of management, the self concept and role conflict. Selection, training, assessment, pay and promotion are dealt with together in an additional category. Results from a Questionnaire completed by teachers from four local education authorities provides additional material to be considered and reinforces many of the previous claims and observations. After the findings are discussed, conclusions and recommendations are made for the improvement of morale and the reduction of stress in the teaching profession. Many of the conclusions made are linked closely to the self concept of the teacher. This self concept appears to be the focal point at which the problems besetting the teacher meet and are dealt with in either a positive or negative manner. Many of the recommendations made have the effect on the self concept of the teacher as a prominent feature. The stress provoking situations experienced by teachers seem to be reaching unacceptable levels. The physical and mental welfare of teachers is called upon to be monitored in order to reduce the harmful effects that poorly motivated teachers may have on pupils and in order to reduce the physical and mental difficulties apparently being suffered by the teaching profession.