Coping with the pressure of being a year six teacher

In Primary school it could be said that the teaching staff who are under the most pressure are those teaching in the final year of a child’s primary education. This is because it is in that year that children sit their Statutory Assessment Tests which are test that are mostly not marked internally by teachers in the school but are sent away to be marked by external assessors who are employed by the Government.

The pressure that teachers feel to ensure the pupils are well prepared for the tests is great, but many teachers are also aware of the need to support children through the process and to minimise any negative effects to their mental health and wellbeing.

It is important for teachers to keep things in perspective and not to get anxious about the results of the tests even though for some teachers poor results from the pupils can influence their own professional advancement. Leaving schoolwork at the school door is a good strategy if this is possible as a good work life balance is crucial. Getting involved in a hobby that is not related to education is another way to relieve the pressure of teaching and if this involves physical exercise such as running, swimming or yoga then all the better.