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...Join the author on this narrative and inspiring tour of principal Ogilvy's daily encounter with stress. His assistants, Ms Noodle and Mr Bishop, are astounded by the daily rigors and stress which they also endure mainly as a result of Ogilvy's leadership style, and in some cases situations that they unknowingly create. Their ability to lead was challenged by daily encounters with a faculty that was resistant to change. In response to a growing number of complaints from staff, parents, and at times the leadership team, the assistant superintendent finally scheduled stress management training for Ogilvy and his assistants. Ogilvy's leadership team was not pleased. Their perception of stress management training as being a 'touchy-feely' session was quickly changed when they met a facilitator who led them through a path of self discovery and awareness which forever changed the manner in which they led. They gained knowledge of stressors which resided in the school's culture; theoretical and practical approaches to addressing these stressors; and learned coping strategies which guided them in leading change in a dynamic manner. Eventually Manchester Elementary transformed into being a healthy learning environment conducive to student achievement, and a place that the entire faculty and staff enjoyed working.
Understanding Teacher Stress focuses on the impact of educational reforms, such as the No Child left Behind Act, 2001, on principals and teachers' stress level and coping abilities. It further speaks to the necessity for stress management programs in school districts and teachers college curriculums. The author details educators' coping strategies, and examines various stress management program approaches and designs which educators are likely to benefit from.
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