IEUA-QNT members invited to join in collaborative project to address teacher stress
An online survey has been developed as part of a wider research project aiming to identify causes of educator stress across different sectors and ages.
Our union is currently participating in the project “Supporting the Educators: Occupational stress and wellbeing across the teaching career-span”, which will run until the end of March next year.
The project is a collaborative venture with Griffith University and the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) that aims to gather information about various sources of stress for teachers at different stages in their career.
It will seek input from practitioners at all career stages from beginning teachers to educators nearing retirement. The overall aim is to make recommendations for effective workplace support and development.
The first phase of the project involved one-on-one interviews with a small number of individuals and was completed in July.
Findings from this phase of the project have now been used to develop an online survey to be completed by a larger number of practising teachers. Members still have time to participate in the survey which closes 13 November, and is entirely voluntary and confidential.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said the project is a welcome opportunity for members of our union to identify how stress affects educators at different stages of their working lives.
“This joint initiative is an important step in finding out how the ever-expanding workloads of education staff in schools across all sectors affect their work at different ages and between different levels of experience,” Mr Burke said.
“It will also provide valuable information on why too many education professionals are making the decision to leave the profession as well as identifying ways of retaining them with the appropriate support and resources they deserve.”
Research assistant and PhD student assisting the project, Rachel Morrow, said it is important for as many as possible to take part in the survey.
“Once the survey has closed we will be examining the data to explore how teachers are affected by stress and to provide evidence for our industry partners to know where to target better support practices,” she said.
“The interviews have now finished so we are just waiting for the completion of the online survey with results available before Christmas.
“Initial interview responses indicated the biggest factors of teacher stress and wellbeing were mainly around paperwork, administration, and the blending of roles where teachers were being asked to perform additional roles, such as parenting and counselling roles, beyond what they expected,” Ms Morrow said.
Questions in the survey centre on work-life balance, bullying, job satisfaction and other topics to identify occupational stress and wellbeing across a diverse range of individuals working in the education profession.
A complete report of findings from the project is due to be completed in March 2016.