Thursday, March 9, 2017

Raymond Anthony Fernando’s letter to The New Paper: Educate teachers to recognise their stress levels

My letter to The New Paper on the above subject is published today, Thursday

I was saddened to read the report “Relief teacher used Hokkien vulgarity twice on student” (The New Paper, March 7)

Teaching can be stressful, but it is a noble profession as educators with the right attitude can shape our future leaders.

Teaching is all about managing relationships in an intense and public arena all day.

Some emotions will be overwhelming and difficult to manage. They will not be helpful for teaching and learning, and given that our education system is very competitive, it is vital that our educators are taught how to recognise their stress levels.

Teachers, like anyone of us, have feelings and they could have personal problems. We can and must help those who are struggling to find a coping mechanism. This is where training on mental health issues by experts can prove useful.

We now have programmes for students to learn about mental health issues, so why are the very people who help to educate our children not being trained on this subject?

If teachers learn about mental health issues, they will be better positioned to seek help, first, through school counsellors; and if need be, through mental health providers.  The Ministry of Education should give them full support in this.


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