The purpose of this study is to understand the work stress that elementary school teachers in Taipei city undergo while teaching, the coping strategies, and the relationship among pressure, strategies and teachers with different backgrounds. This study adopts qualitative semi-structured interviews to collect data, and through the purposive sampling of nine current elementary school teachers in Taipei city. The results are as follows:
Firstly, based on the interview with four dimensions: workload, interpersonal relationship, administrative support, and student behavior to understand the work stress of elementary school teachers, the researcher finds the source of pressure above altered drastically due to changes in teaching environment. The involvement of parents, the innovative business of Department of Education, the strong leadership of principal, passive work attitude of administrators, complex interpersonal relationships in school, as well as ego-centered awareness among most of the students, and etc., had increased the difficulty of teaching than that in the past.
Secondly, from the results the interviewed teachers revealed, the majority of teachers will try to relieve work stress via numerous coping strategies: solving problems, seeking for supports, avoiding problems, and adjusting themselves for instance. The results of interview cohered with the induction hypothesis the researcher had made upon related study in stress coping strategies in Taiwan.
Thirdly, this study explores the relationship between different teacher background variables and work stress. However, the conclusion of seven background variables scatters. That is to say, most of the teacher interviewed agreed that gender, age, marital status, years of teaching, as well as position ones hold are associated with work stress, but not the education level. However, they hold different opinions on the connection between teacher with teaching-related academic background and work stress.
Lastly, this study investigates the relationship between seven different teacher background variables and coping strategies. Among the variables only years of teaching reaches a consistent conclusion. One interviewed teacher states only in the field of special education higher education level is more favorable to the stress coping strategies. In addition, the majority of teachers also stand that age and teaching-related academic background are irrelevant to coping strategies but gender, marital status, and position ones hold are relevant.
In conclusion, a number of suggestions based on research results are made to educational administration, school administrative units, and individual teachers for the purpose of further research.