Interventions to Address Occupational Stress among Teachers

Anthony M. Wanjohi:

Owing to the negative effects of stress on performance, organizations  strive to come up with a number of intervention measures to help their employees to cope. Schools are encouraged to offer healthy working environment, work towards reducing teachers’ workload, establishing programs to help teachers to cope, and to stabilize the curriculum and the education system in general.


A study by Kitenga (2009) on the factors contributing to occupational stress among teachers in public primary schools in Kenya revealed that there are a number of interventions that can be taken to help teachers to better cope with occupational stress. Figure 1 shows the distribution of teachers on what they thought is the most effective interventions to cope with occupational stress.


Fig. 1: Interventions to reduce occupational stress among teachers


With school bureaucracies, teachers can become stressed by role overload and lack of autonomy. Management and leadership style may differ from administrator to administrator. As shown by the figure, the majority of the respondents, 77 per cent  indicated that creating a conducive, well managed work environment was the most  effective line of action that can be taken to reduce stress among teachers.


It is general recognized that programs aimed at dealing with stress issues can help teachers to a greater extent to cope with work related stress. These programs encourage sharing of problems. When teachers use these kinds of programs, they may reduce their stress by releasing it or engaging in activities known to reduce stress. A majority of the respondents in the study (70 per cent) indicated that introducing programs to help teachers cope with stress was another very effective method of dealing with stress.


With subject workload, class size issues and extra curricular activities, teachers may find themselves more stressed. According to 72 per cent of teachers in the study, reducing teachers’ workload was another very effective strategy that could be used to help teachers to cope with occupational stress.


According to 49 per cent of the respondents, working towards stabilizing the ever changing education policies occasioned by unstable education system could help address the perpetual occupational stress among teachers.


The litany of interventions to help teachers to cope with occupational stress is long. The individual intervention measures are also key towards addressing the problem.



Kitenga, B. N. (2009). Factors Contributing to Occupational Stress and Coping Mechanisms among Primary School Teachers in Ngong Division of Kajiado North District. Journal of Research Abstracts – JRA, Volume 3, 2009.