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Coffee Morning Take-Aways: Surviving and Thriving as Educators

We had a wonderful Coffee Morning on the 18th of February at our TREE Learning Center. We invited educators to come in for an informal conversation that led to some incredible insights about what it means to survive and thrive as a teacher, how to handle stress at work, and new ways to think about professional growth.

There were a few of the recurring themes and points that came up very strongly in our discussion:

What are the areas of stress in your teaching profession? How do you think you can deal with it yourself and how can the school help you to reduce them/ cope with them?

  • A big challenge for teachers is dealing with situations that arise with parents. Schools need to have a clear system and protocol in place — ideally the parents should first address the issue with the teacher before bringing it to the management. If it does require intervention by the management, schools need to think through how they can support their teachers while also meeting the expectations of the parents. Ultimately, maintaining good relationships need to be the priority.

  • Another stress point for many teachers is the amount of documentation required for them to do — having to submit lesson plans, reports of children’s activities, records of parent meetings, and more.

  • And finally, ensuring that teachers are doing the best for the child — developing each child to their potential and in a holistic way, while also understanding where the child is at. It can be stressful for teachers to not get feedback on what they’re doing, which leads to self-doubt. And at times when teachers have to answer to the parents and management’s expectations of the child, which might be different from what the teachers know about the child.

Have you reflected on your own growth as an educator? In what ways would you want to grow, and how would you enable that to happen?

  • Growth can be horizontal or vertical — it doesn’t just mean going up the hierarchy and getting a better salary or position. Growth can also mean:

    1. Learning and gaining new perspectives on teaching and self-improvement

    2. Trying out something new

    3. Being able to handle relationships with parents better

    4. Gaining more exposure and professional development

    5. Building a positive environment and inspiring students and other teachers

    6. Sharing ideas, collaboration, building a network

    7. Mentoring younger or junior teachers, or being mentored

  • It’s important for teachers to have a voice and agency in their schools. Having opportunities to go out and represent the school, regardless of their title, being given small leadership opportunities such as taking charge of a school event.

Being recognized and valued for the work you do as a teacher — it’s important for schools to acknowledge that on a continuous basis. Even a short email sent personally to the teacher can rejuvenate them and give them the drive to do better. Recognition and visibility go a long way.

Tell us what you feel in response to these questions! We’d love to know your thoughts. Visit our website at and sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on more events, workshops, and forums for educators!

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