April 2016 – #teacher5aday Stress Awareness Month

To follow in the footsteps of our American cousins http://stressawarenessmonth.com/ I’m suggesting that we make April #teacher5aday Stress Awareness month.

This works well as it follows on from the original ideas of Mark Healey whose TLT14 presentation inspired #teacher5aday.


As part of his presentation he attempted to define stress, discuss the problems teachers face and present lots of solutions to consider. As we approach the exam season I thought raising awareness of stress and how we deal with it might be a useful activity. Mark proposes that, “stress is the gap between the demands of life events and our perceived ability to cope.”

He based some of his presentation on the work of Kelly McGonigal and her how to make stress your friend TED talk (June 2013).


She suggests that, “if people actually embrace the concept of stress, it can make them stronger, smarter and happier”.  She goes onto to argue that, “stress isn’t always harmful and once you appreciate that going through stress makes you better at it, it can be easier to face each new challenge.”

I have selected a few key ideas from her TED talk which might help us think about the purpose of dealing with stress positively this month.

Can we view stress as being helpful?

Can we change how we think about stress?

  • Can a ponding heart = ready for action
  • When we are breathing faster are we taking more oxygen to our brains?

Could we improve our physical stress response?

Could we release more oxytocin as a result (a stress hormone)?

Can we become healthier by helping and caring for each other more?

The Idea

Following on from the well-trodden #teacher5aday path I’m hoping that as many teachers as possible will tweet any activities / ideas they have about how they are looking after themselves and dealing with their stress in a positive manner. Spending more time looking after themselves and improving their own well-being.

Under the main #teacher5aday hashtag and using the original ideas of #connect #learn #volunteer #exercise and #notice I’m hoping we can fill twitter timelines with positivity.

More ideas can be found here if any inspiration is required –


  • Perhaps spending some more time on our well-being will improve the life chances of our students?
  • Could you tweet every day of the month about how you are dealing with your stress in a positive way?
  • Could we get better at dealing with stress together?

Let’s see what April brings.

Healthy regards,



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