Working in Education can be rewarding and extremely satisfying but can also present significant emotional challenges. Funding cuts, increased scrutiny, excessive academic testing and increased pressures on teachers can result in staff feeling overwhelmed, criticized and under-valued. In the school setting, teachers are responsible for supporting children with their emotional worlds and this can place a heavy burden on them.
Teachers (as any care-givers) also absorb many feelings unconsciously from the children especially when they are in difficult circumstances such as having special educational needs, facing deprivation or prejudice. These feelings then often play out in complex ways in the school. Teachers may find it difficult to recognize these feelings and process them resulting in them feeling stressed, anxious or even physically unwell.
Reflecting on one’s work enhances meaning and the group aspect also offers amplified insight and learning as we are encouraged to view things from different perspectives. Constructing meaning from experiences allows us to apply that learning to new experiences in the future developing our resilience, flexibility of thinking and creativity.
Regular supervision sessions can offer a reflective space to help staff better understand and manage the psychological impact and emotional demands of their work. This can increase resilience and productivity as well as enabling staff to better support the children and their families emotionally and practically.