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Preschool teachers' experiences of stress
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by A Kelly, D Berthelsen
This research study investigated the phenomenon of stress among a group of preschool teachers. Eight teachers were given opportunities to record and describe current sources of stress. These teachers kept a reflective journal over a two week period and summarised their reflections diagrammatically. The daily journal entries and the diagrammatic representations were analysed for common themes on the sources of stress in the teachers' work. The researcher sought written feedback and confirmation from the teachers that the themes identified by the researcher during analysis were the major sources of stress for them. Confirmation was given that time pressures, meeting children's needs, dealing with non-teaching tasks, maintaining early childhood philosophy and practice, meeting personal needs, issues with parents of the children, interpersonal relationships, and attitudes and perceptions about early childhood programs were the major sources of stress for this particular group of teachers. Consideration of the themes support the view that there is a need for research to explore teachers' experiences of stress within their specific teaching context such as preschool or childcare, as well as within the wider contexts of the school campus and the educational, organisational and social system. Differentiation between the internal demands which teachers place upon themselves in their daily work and the external demands from organisational and social pressures must be understood in order to provide support for teachers to cope with and adapt to change.