TEACHERS’ PERCEPTION ON JOB-RELATED STRESS AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES
Many teachers believe that teaching is a higher calling and therefore, could possibly become more affected when stress factors are present. Prior research has indicated that lower stress, and higher teacher self-efficacy aided in job satisfaction and retention. However, it was not certain if higher levels of leisure time played a significant role in job satisfaction and retention. In this study, leisure time was defined as activities that teachers practice outside the classroom to reduce job-related stress. Examples of these activities are but not limited to outdoor sports, walking, running, or dancing.
A preliminary case study was conducted to determine teachers’ perception on stress and leisure activities. Consent forms and surveys were placed in the school mailboxes of 82 teachers who taught in grades K-6 at East Rural Elementary School. Forty-three out of 82 (53%) surveys were returned. The items on the survey reviewed stress perceptions, leisure perceptions, and spiritual perceptions. Results yielded that most teachers felt they were able to cope with stress, however, it cannot be overlooked that coping strategies are needed for a minority of teachers. Further, most teachers practiced leisure time and perceived it to be important. Spiritual beliefs were also regarded as important by the majority of the teachers. Further investigation from another region could provide additional information in terms of stress, leisure, spirituality and how they relate to job retention.