Dealing With TEFL Stress

stressed.jpgTrouble with your residency permit? Can’t find an address because streets aren’t marked or have changed names recently? No working board pens in the whole school? Arrived in your new location to find that there are a few differences between what you were told and reality?

Many aspects of teaching English abroad are enjoyable, but from time to time stressful situations are bound to come up.

You may try your best to solve a problem, but remain plagued by it still, maybe in part due to factors that wouldn’t be an issue at home – not speaking the local language or being a citizen, puzzling working hours or customs, or bureaucracy you just can’t figure out or navigate.

One thing that may characterize all of these stressful situations is your near lack of control over things; how you deal with stress may be the one factor you do have control over, so it makes sense to put effort into doing it right. So when do you just accept that nothing can be done and when do you keep trying?

Obviously this is not a question that originated at the TEFL Logue, and it would be silly to try and present an answer in a post 200 words long. But it’s a very relevant issue when teaching abroad, and figuring out when to persevere and when to accept things would be quite nice. As I indicated here, one of the differences in my outlook is that many things I would have previously thought impossible can actually be done. But if you’re also realistic about what methods will and won’t work, you can choose the method that does instead of banging your head against a wall with one that doesn’t.