Stress Relief for Teachers: the 'coping triangle'

2nd June 2006 at 01:00
Stress Relief for Teachers: the 'coping triangle'

By Claire Hayes

Routledge pound;20.99

Claire Hayes, a clinical psychiatrist who has taught in mainstream and special education, gives useful, realistic and manageable advice. Her "coping triangle" consists of three boxes - Thoughts, Feelings and Actions - which interact, with situations in the middle. You add your own content to the boxes; the exercise is a good way of bringing clarity and, hopefully, manageability to whatever is causing stress.

The author contrasts possible reactions to a problem. Compare: "Steve Adams is driving me crazy. If he comes in without his homework done once more I will scream," with: "There is something about Steve Adams's habit of not doing his homework which is really bothering me." In the first sentence, the teacher is blaming the child. In the second, she accepts that the problem lies in her reaction. Once that realisation is there, it becomes possible to devise strategies for dealing with the stress, and the book has many examples.

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