Teachers Coping with the Stress of Classroom Discipline

Abstract

Of all of the activities that comprise the role of a teacher, classroom discipline is one of the most significant. In selecting an approach to classroom discipline, some teachers experience, and have to deal with, tensions arising from their desire to use educationally justifiable models while still quickly gaining and maintaining order in the classroom. This paper examines teachers' estimations of the stress that arises when they are unable to discipline students as they would ideally prefer. More importantly, the way teachers cope with any stress which does arise is documented using the Coping Scale for Adults. The results indicate that teachers who report more stress are those most interested in empowering their students in the decision making process. Associated with increased concern is a greater use of Worry, Self-Blame, Tension Reduction, Wishful Thinking and Keep to Self. The most concerned teachers also express a greater tendency to get sick as a result of the stress. These data suggest the need for professional development curricula for teachers to assist them in effectively sharing power with students and in reflecting upon a range of more productive coping strategies.

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Lewis, R. Teachers Coping with the Stress of Classroom Discipline. Social Psychology of Education 3, 155–171 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1009627827937

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Keywords

  • Social Psychology
  • Professional Development
  • Coping Strategy
  • Social Context
  • Education Research