Middle school teachers display large amounts of stress affecting student academic achievement as well as the entire school environment (Clausen & Petruka, 2009; Stoeber & Rennert, 2008). For example, teacher stress may lead to student behavioral problems, poor teacher-parent relationships, conflicts with peers, and lack of teacher autonomy (Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2007). School and community counselors are in optimal positions to collaboratively decrease teacher stress levels, improve school environments, and enhance student achievement. This qualitative study allowed teachers the opportunity to convey perspectives of a stress management technique incorporating the arts, mental imagery, and the relaxation response (Benson & Klipper, 1975). Five themes emerged: high stress levels, lack of burnout awareness, student impact, a sense of restfulness, and positive self-improvement.
- Creative relaxation
- Relaxation response