This study is designed to investigate the management of teacher stress in some selected secondary schools in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.Three research questions, two hypotheses guided the study. A descriptive survey design was employed for the study and stratified random sampling technique was also used to compose the 200 respondents. The following are the objectives of the research: to examine the factors responsible for stress among secondary school teachers in Lagos State, to determine the sources of stress among secondary school teachers in Lagos State and to identify the strategies for coping with stress among secondary school teachers in Lagos State.
1.1 Background to the Study
The goal of education in developing nations like Nigeria is to equip students with new skills, knowledge, cultures, attitudes, behaviors and innovative ways of solving day to day problems in life. Education is aimed at supplying the economy with human capital that can convert efficiently other resources into output of high value for quality life (UNESCO, 2010). To attain quality education for sustainable development, the teacher as the core instiller of knowledge should be well motivated, healthy and satisfied with the job for excellent performance.
Unfortunately, previous studies indicate that teachers are usually under work-related stress hence not able to achieve the expected high levels of performance leading to ineffective education and delays in national and global development (Kyriacou&Chien, 2004). Many researchers agree that job dissatisfaction caused by multiple factors (stressors) leads to teachers‟ stress, ill health, poor performance and eventually high teacher turnover (Borg, 2010). With nervous energy skyrocketing, the teachers need understanding and support, they need voices of reason to counteract both the stress-inducing messages they get from this culture, work and the demoralizing, self-defeating beliefs, some of them persist in telling themselves. Many signs of stress are so common that they are accepted as the normal, even expected, cost of leading busy, productive lives. Teachers should be aware of basic truths about the insidious, sometimes devastating, effects of stress on people throughout the life.
Mgbodile, (2004), identified some factors responsible for stress among secondary school teachers. These factors are poor work attitude of students, time pressure arising from heavy workload, lack of discipline in the school; teacher’s incompetence and lack of confidence in his ability; bureaucratic interference exemplified by frequent and arbitrary changes of school policy, non-payment and delay payment of teacher’s salary. The symptoms of stress and burnout in teachers are apathy, negativism, low morale, boredom, anxiety, frustration, fatigue, depression, alienation, anger/irritability, physical problem (headache, stomach problem), and absenteeism. When we talk of stress and its bad effects, our concern most of the time is stress in its overdosed form (Okere and Onyechi 2007).
It is clearly understood that by virtue of their profession, teachers are constantly under stress. This ultimately affects their performance. Teacher job performance, according to Nayyar (1994) is the degree to which an individual teacher executes a particular role or responsibility in line with specified standards or criteria. Teacher performance is the behaviour of a teacher which changes differently within the surrounding environment in which the teacher successfully carries out any assigned role or responsibility (Cheng &Tsu. 1998). Because of stress which the teacher experiences however, he is unable to execute this assignment or role effectively. As Tahir (2011) lamented when a teacher is under stress, there will be poor teaching quality, low students’ satisfaction and turnover on the overall performance of the teacher.
Brown and Ralph (199) summarized the following effects of stress on teachers, among others: Reduction in work performance and output, loss of confidence and motivation, inability to manage line or delegate, feelings of alienation and inadequacy, increasing introversion, irritability with colleagues, unwillingness to cooperate, frequent irrational conflict at work, increased substance, persistent negative thoughts, loss of appetite and accident proneness. If there is a growing disaffection within the school system due to bad leadership, the school head is not likely to secure the cooperation of his subordinates. When this situation intensifies, the school head or any superior officer for that matter, experiences a feeling of “aloneness” knowing that his subordinates appear to be either afraid of him or afraid of any contact with his harassing conduct. When he cannot secure the cooperation of staff under him, he is likely experiencing a feeling of anger towards all around him. In this situation, he is not happy, his subordinates are not happy either. In the end, the goals of the school will not be realized. This research work examines management of teacher stress in some selected secondary schools in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It is generally believed that stress is inevitable as long as one is living; hence the problem lies on its management. The secondary school system is a veritable environment for teaching and learning activities. Stress is a very seriousthreat to teachers’ abilities to meet up with the challenges in the school. When stress is poorly managed by secondary school teachers, this could have adverse effects ontheirmode of teaching and then affects academic excellence of the students. When a teacher is under stress,he is faced with disrupted emotional, cognitive and psychological functioning. Therefore, it is necessary for teachers to adequately manage stress when it occurs so that they can teach effectively and efficiently. What then, are the stress managementstrategies for secondary school teachers? It is against this background that thisstudy is faced with the problem of establishing validly stress management strategies among secondary school teachers in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.
1.3 Research Questions
These are some of the questions the study is designed to answer:
i) What are the factors responsible for stress among secondary school teachers in Lagos State?
ii) What are the sources of stress among secondary school teachers in Lagos State?
iii) What are the strategies for coping with stress among secondary school teachers in Lagos State?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to examines management of teacher stress in some selected secondary schools in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, Nigeria. The specific objectives and are:
i) To examine the factors responsible for stress among secondary school teachers in Lagos State.
ii) To determine the sources of stress among secondary school teachers in Lagos State.
iii) To identify the strategies for coping with stress among secondary school teachers in Lagos State.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The research hypotheses to be tested include:
i) There is a significant relationship between the sources of stress and teaching effectiveness.
ii) There is no significant difference between gender and teachers’ responses to stress.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study is designed toinvestigate the management of teacher stress in some selected secondary schools in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.The findings of the study will provide data or literature for academicians as a basis for further research. The study will benefit the general society since stress affects many workers and using management strategies is a duty of each organization. The research findings will help head teachers to be able to identify the stress management strategies to be used in primary schools to address stress problems which can help in teacher commitment and hence retention.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study is designed toinvestigate the management of teacher stress in some selected secondary schools in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State. It will therefore be carried among 200 selected secondary school teachers in the Local Government Area.
1.8 Limitation of the study
Apart from the time constraint, the researcher was faced with lack of capital to print as many as possible questionnaires and. Many respondents were not willing to respond to the questions as the researcher wanted. Also, the variables identified as intervening variables were not controlled for during the sampling and data analysis.
1.9 Definitions of Terms
The following terms were used in the course of this study:
Management:the process of dealing with or controlling things or people.
Secondary school:is the next step up from primary school. Secondaryschools are often called high schools in the United States. In Britain, secondaryschools may be public schools, grammar schools or comprehensive schools.
Stress:the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure, and pressure turns into stresswhen you feel unable to cope.
Teachers: persons who help others to acquire knowledge, competences or values. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone.
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