Teacher Stress and Health

Effects on Teachers, Students, and Schools

Teacher Stress video screen grab

This video highlights research examining the causes and consequences of teacher stress.
This video highlights research examining the causes and consequences of teacher stress.

This video highlights research examining the causes and consequences of teacher stress.

Teaching is one of the most stressful occupations in the country, but introducing organizational and individual interventions can help minimize the negative effects of teacher stress.

The Issue 

This research brief examines causes of teacher stress, its effects on teachers, schools, and students, and strategies for reducing its impact.  

Key Findings

  • Forty-six percent of teachers report high daily stress, which compromises their health, sleep, quality of life, and teaching performance.

  • When teachers are highly stressed, students show lower levels of both social adjustment and academic performance.

  • Interventions on the organizational or individual level, or those that reach both, can help reduce teacher stress by changing the culture and approach to teaching.

  • Programs for mentoring, workplace wellness, social emotional learning, and mindfulness are all proven to improve teacher well-being and student outcomes.

Conclusion

The escalating teacher crisis is affecting students’ educational outcomes, impacting teachers’ health, and costing U.S. schools billions of dollars each year. The authors suggest improving school organization, job demands, support and autonomy, and personal emotional resources for teachers.

About the Pennsylvania State University and this Research Series

Founded in 1855, the Pennsylvania State University is a renowned public research university that educates students from around the world and collaborates with partners to share valuable knowledge that improves the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Pennsylvania State University is creating a series of briefs addressing the need for research, practice and policy on social and emotional learning. The series will cover how teachers, parents, schools and others can help support the social emotional learning of students.