|dc.description.abstract||This study deals with the design and application of Scripture-founded pastoral guidelines as aid or supplement to existing work stress interventions for the effective management of teacher stress as it especially manifests in Second Language Teaching situations.
Important questions addressed regarding this topic amongst others include the following:
• Which perspectives can be deduced from Scripture with regard to work ethic, work stress and work stress management?
• What does work stress in teaching mean and what support systems are available for teachers in practice, especially as the problem occurs in the profile of a Second Language Teacher?
• How effectively do the support processes for Second Language Teachers with work stress in secondary schools run?
• Which pastoral guidelines can be offered for the management of teacher stress as it features in the profile of Second Language Teachers?
The research of the study is structured according to the model of Zerfass, as designed for Practical Theology.
The basis theoretical research clearly indicates that applicable pastoral guidelines can be deduced from Scripture as the foundational source regarding the effective management of work stress. These pastoral guidelines are identified and described by focussing on the appearance of work stress in key figures in Scripture such as Joseph, Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul, as well as God's intervention and support in their different situations. God executed His plans through the different Bible characters in spite of their weaknesses and shortcomings, and this offers hope to current-day believers. The principles illustrated in the lives of the Bible characters can be applied to the lives of modern people. The following principles for work stress management are investigated through the mentioned Bible figures: Identity in God; Disciplining of thought; Delegation of work; Time management and setting priorities; Prayer and Divine support.
It is clear from the meta-theoretical research that English Second Language Teachers, especially in the South African context, should receive much more support since their work stress factors are more and are very unique to their subject.
There is a significant gap with regard to support bases or pastoral services for teachers in schools, in spite of there being several researchers that are of the opinion that work stress has a negative influence on teachers' mental health. It is precisely when external factors can not be controlled that the teacher should have the necessary skills for his own survival. Pastoral guidance focuses on the empowerment of the individual in an unfriendly work and living environment.
The empirical study comprised interviews with three Second Language Teachers who experienced problems with teacher stress. In addition, interviews were held with three different headmasters at secondary schools to establish which support systems are available for teachers. The participants indicated that their relationship with God, the Word and prayer carry them through periods of stress. The empirical study showed that Second Language Teachers feel the need for pastoral guidance with regard to stress. The headmasters support the implementation of pastoral help in schools, since there is a void with regard to support systems or counselling in support of teachers who suffer from work stress.
The central theoretical argument of this study makes it clear that counselling guidelines for a therapeutic process can play an indispensable intervention role in the guidance of teachers under work stress. During the process of establishing these pastoral guidelines, the basis theoretical perspectives were extracted through Scripture study of known Biblical figures under similar work pressure. The meta-theory was constructed from research information from recent studies of this subject field, and empirical case studies that served as situation analysis from the teaching context. Lastly, the information was integrated to formulate practice theoretical guidelines. The following guidelines for a pastoral guidance process are presented in chapter 5, as deducted from the Word of God:
♦ Physical health: The human body was created by God and should enjoy the same care as the soul and spirit. The counselee can be guided along the Word of God to a realisation of the importance of his body and its physical care.
♦ Spiritual health: Man draws his spiritual health from regular prayer and meditation regarding Scripture; and therefore prayer and Word Study are powerful instruments in the management of work stress.
♦ An identity founded in the Triune God does not sway under manipulation or unrealistic standards, because such a person understands who he is, Who he belongs to and what his purpose is, and therefore he can manage his stress.
♦ Thoughts that are disciplined according to the will of God and His Word enable a person to stay and act in a manner focused on God, even in stressful circumstances.
♦ Those who manage their time and determine priorities in accordance with God's will, are enabled to live a balanced life and to limit work stress.
♦ Those who delegate tasks, relieve their work and time pressure and also lessen their work stress.
♦ A personal relationship with God and the support, guidance and help of the indwelling Holy Spirit is indispensable for the effective management of work stress.
♦ The establishment of an effective support group relieves stress, because emotional burdens are shared.
The purpose of the pastoral guidance process is to focus the counselee's faith dependence on the guidance of the Triune God. Scripture, as the Word of God, belonging to a community of believers, together with the spiritual activities that this entails, have a positive effect on counselees. The Scripture should be a non-negotiable component of pastoral guidance processes.
This study has confirmed that the points of departure that the researcher initially held are valid points of departure for the support of the argument in favour of pastoral guidance to Second Language Teachers with work stress.||