A mere students transform into good human beings

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A mere students transform into good human beings

A society is a replica of the teachers living in it. But, I
say, if teachers are drained, exhausted and disheartened, the goal of shaping
the society is undermined.

Typically, I make it a point to fix myself in front of the
mirror before going to school or after leaving the faculty room to have my
class. I frequently hear from others the importance of being presentable as
some students may make you a subject of ridicule to eliminate boredom or
positively, students may be inspired to attend your class. Upon arrival in
school I notice my colleagues come in fresh and as lovely as those sought-after
television personalities. However, as the school day gradually comes to a
close, you may bump in to a teacher who may be haggard, downcast, and even
grumpy at times.

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Growing up, I saw the dedication of my parents in molding
children entrusted to their care. Truly, teachers help mere students transform
into good human beings with a positive attitude, confidence, and motivation to
pursue excellence (Adams, 2000). However, amidst
this pivotal role, in the last two decades, there have been studies reflecting
increased occupational stress among school teachers. According to Day (2000),
for many teachers, the last 20 years have been years of survival, rather than
development.

Researches in different cultures indicate that school teachers
are among those professionals with the highest levels of job stress (Stoeber & Rennert, 2008) often caused by an
excessive workload, failure of pupils to work or behave properly, poor
relationships with colleagues, lack of suitable resources, constant changes
within the profession, an inadequate salary and difficult interactions with the
parents of students (Santavirta, Solovieva, & Theorell, 2007). In fact, Health
& Safety Executive report revealed that stress levels for teachers were
more than double the average at 42%. Similarly, the three-year estimate (2008
to 2011) of the Self-reported Work-related Illness Questionnaire Module in the
National Labor Force Survey of the United Kingdom demonstrated more than double
the mean rates of self-reported stress, depression, and anxiety for the
teaching profession (HSE, 2012).

The cost of stress is alarming. In fact, nearly 160 million
cases of work-related diseases are reported each year globally. These diseases
are responsible for nearly 80 percent of 2.2 million work-related deaths each
year. At the individual level, stress may lead to serious health impairments,
the loss of capacity to cope with job demand, less success at work (even loss
of job), withdrawal from society and even death. For the organization, the
costs of stress include absenteeism, higher medical costs, reduced
productivity, reduced efficiency and staff turnover (International Labour Organization, 2005).

In the Philippines, public school teachers render eight
hours of service per day (RA 1800) to typically large number of students with
insufficient resources (Umil, 2014). On top of these,
they are also expected to be involved in community works and extracurricular
competitions, perform specific school-related tasks such as but not limited to
Gulayan sa Paaralan of the Department of Agriculture (DepED Memorandum no. 293, s. 2007), facilitate mass
deworming and immunization of the Department of Health (DepED
Memorandum n. 128, s. 2016), and monitor
students under the 4 Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) (DepED Memo n.
110, s. 2009)
of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, to name a few.

Thus, it is clear that no one in the educational arena is
faced with greater demands and conflicting expectations than the public school
teacher. Promoting teacher well-being is a valid and appropriate activity for
the profession as it enhances the capacity of schools to meet the needs of its
learners.  Schools and teachers excel at
thinking about learner well-being. However, teacher well-being comes to fore
not until it is too late and teacher is sick. However, research on what
actively promotes teacher well-being is less easy to find than factors that
lead to stress and most of the available researches are based on the context of
the west. Hence, the researcher is driven to conduct a mixed method research
that seeks to develop the best fit model for teacher well-being through a
combination of quantifiable measures and comprehensive description of their
lived experiences as they manage successive deadlines and cumulative demands of
the service. 

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