Learn about the importance of teacher burnout is and 11 ways you can solve and prevent teacher burnout from occurring in your career.
Being a teacher can be very demanding.
Of course, teaching has its victories and can be quite exciting especially when you are teaching something you are passionate about.
This still doesn’t change the fact that teacher burnout is real and many teachers are battling with this.
But what is teacher burnout, and how can you deal with it?
This article addresses teacher burnout and what you can do to deal effectively with it.
So, what is teacher burnout and what are the signs of this?
Burnout is described as a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, detachment, feelings of ineffectiveness, and lack of accomplishment.
You see, teachers are hard workers who aim to achieve high, plus, they’re always looking for ways to improve.
But they still are human beings, and well, they too have a back that does not want to ache.
And some ways may lead to that “Back Ache”.
This is first because you can easily fall prey to the perfectionism monster.
Who does not want to be a perfectionist, right?
We all have once in our lives tried to do this one thing we love to the limit that is perfect but truly never is.
That is good in one way, but this will push you to put in more and more time without leaving any out for rest and recuperation.
The reality of the times we live in is that overworking is celebrated under the guise of diligence, and workaholics are seen as virtuous, but this is not supposed to be so at the expense of your health.
Teachers need to be reminded often that you need to take care of and nourish yourself if you are going to take care of, and nourish others.
Now that we have seen what exactly is teacher burnout, let’s begin!
Table of Contents:
Teachers Burning Out: 11 Ways You Can To Solve It:
Signs Of Burnout
Just before you check this out, you should know that true burnout is more than just feeling tired or overwhelmed and if ignored, or treated lightly, can lead to serious depression.
This is why you should know the warning signs.
- Fatigue And Sleep Issues:
A whole day spent teaching is enough to make anyone feel tired, and that is understandable.
However, if you are feeling overly exhausted and experiencing fatigue before you even begin the day, you may need to consider taking a break.
Also, if you are experiencing insomnia or sleep-related issues, this could be a warning sign that you need to rest a little.
- Repeated Periods Of Forgetfulness And Intense Trouble Concentrating:
It is normal for something to skip your memory now and then.
It’s also quite normal to be distracted a little bit sometimes.
But if you are finding it hard to concentrate on your work or even complete your daily tasks due to forgetfulness, you might be having symptoms of burnout and should probably stop.
- Appetite And Weight Loss:
Too often, we assume that if a person is gaining weight, it means they are doing so well.
This isn’t always true; any drastic weight gain or loss should be investigated real quickly because it could be a sign of burnout.
- Depression And Anxiety:
Teacher burnout can intensify if ignored at the initial stage and can turn into feelings of anxiety and serious depression over time.
Ensure you speak to your doctor any time you notice extreme sadness and anger affecting your life.
Now that we have seen the signs of burnout, let’s see ways you can deal with burnout.
1. Listen To Your Body
Nobody can tell you how you are doing like your own body.
This is not to say you should go around listening to your heartbeat and checking your pulse and temperature as if you are waiting for something to go wrong with you.
That would be paranoid.
What we’re saying is simply pay healthy attention to how you feel.
It’s ok to feel overwhelmed sometimes, but if the feeling remains, you need to back off and look at it closely.
2. Practice Work-life Balance
Like every other profession that demands excellence and continuous improvement, teaching can be very demanding.
It is wisdom to intentionally build balance into your work and life.
If you will avoid becoming a victim of teacher burnout, you need to build balance into your life.
A good way to do this is by setting clear boundaries.
This might mean no checking of emails after 6 pm, or you’ll only mark students’ assignments till it’s time for dinner.
Or it could be deciding to not work on Sundays.
Whatever schedule you develop or choose, please ensure you stick to it to ensure balance in your life and your all-round health.
3. Know Your Strengths
As much as we would all like to get an A in every area, the reality is that you aren’t good at everything.
And it can get very easy to get sucked up in the feeling of defeat in the areas you do poorly.
Teaching can sometimes make you feel like the world is against you.
This is why you must make it a rule to mark and celebrate the things you do well throughout the year.
This recognition of our strength reinvigorates you and makes you happier when you see the great qualities you possess and the results they bring.
Whatever your strengths are, you can mark them and celebrate the positive results they produce every day.
And don’t go saying, “Well, I can’t find any.” Look!
Once you keep an eye out for the positive results you produce, you will feel better about what you do as a teacher. If you’ll only look.
4. Take Some Time Off
Said it before.
Know when to take a break.
The thing about being a teacher is sometimes, we just don’t know when to stop.
Because of the workload, we always think it’s not yet enough; just one more, just one more, just one more, until we break down.
When you start feeling teacher burnout sneak up on you, step away from it.
You can leave work at work.
Here’s something that can help: take a pad and list out everything that needs to be done over the next two days.
Once your list is complete, choose the top three most important tasks.
These will be your must-dos for tomorrow.
Now that you have tomorrow figured out, step back from work and make yourself a priority for the rest of the day.
You can take a walk, fix yourself a delicious dinner, take yourself out, read your favorite book, watch Netflix, or even go to sleep early.
5. Slow Down
You know when you are approaching a bump in the road and the sign reads “Slow Down.”
That’s the same thing we need to do from time to time.
Learn to chill.
Learn to slow down.
If taking the day off isn’t possible for you, then simply slow down.
You can skip the coffee and take a break.
Sit and stare outside the window or walk slowly to the next meeting.
Simply stop, and breathe fresh air.
Simple things like these may seem so little and even feel weird in our fast-paced world, but that is you reminding yourself that you can take things easy.
6. Make Self-Care A Habit
This is going to sound funny, but you need to know that it works.
Self-care routines help you prioritize your health.
You can set aside time over the weekend or in the evening to do something that is mentally and physically beneficial to you.
What makes you relax?
What do you find refreshing when you do it?
Find out and do them.
Here are some ideas:
- a quick morning or evening Yoga routine
- Taking a walk and experiencing nature
- Reading a chapter of your favorite book
- Creating a sleep schedule and sticking to it
- Relaxing with your favorite drink
- Seeing your favorite reality TV show
Whatever it is, care for yourself!
7. Talk To Someone
By now, you’re probably wondering, “how can they help?”
Well, sitting down with a loved one to talk about your experience can be therapeutic for you.
Especially when it’s someone who has had the experience as well.
They can relate better and understand with you enough to be empathetic towards your challenge.
The key is this: Get it all out!
Cry if you need to, scream, rant, whatever.
Just get someone who can handle it.
The more you hold it in, the more your frustration builds and soon, you’ll take it out on your students.
When talking to someone, it’s not necessarily advice you want.
What you need first is a shoulder to cry on.
If the advice comes with it, that’s ok, but it’s irrelevant compared to being able to share.
8. Try Something New
Sometimes, a rut is the easiest way to settle into teacher burnout.
What you may need to do is try something different.
You can find ways to change courses or add a simple twist to your usual ways of teaching.
You can decide to make your teaching more fun and relaxing, so it helps you unwind and relax while at the same time helping your students achieve what they need to.
And this is pretty simple.
All you need to do is go online and explore the vast ideas available or you can simply brainstorm it out on your own.
9. Plan For Your Courses In Advance
If you want to avoid Teacher Burnout, you want to plan your classes ahead of time.
Rush-hour has a way of putting you into emergency mode and shooting your adrenaline and veins sky-high and that’s a surefire recipe for burnout.
It’s much easier and smoother to follow a prepared plan than to wing it.
You don’t have to plan it out all at once.
You just need to make sure that to at least a good degree, you are ahead in your planning.
You can do that on Fridays or use the weekends, at least before Sunday night, so you don’t ruin your Sunday evenings.
If you want to keep teacher burnout at bay, plan ahead.
10. Watch Your Health
The easiest way to get through all that workload as a teacher is to stay healthy.
We recommend you get yourself an exercise schedule to keep fit and stay healthy every day. You could jog, lift weights, or even do Yoga. Just keep to your scheduled time.
This goes a long way in preparing you for the day, or the next day, depending on when you
fix your schedules.
We also recommend that you sleep well too.
A good sleep schedule keeps your mind sharp. It also lets your body refresh so you meet the day with energy instead of fatigue.
Finally, you need to eat healthily and develop healthy eating habits as well.
This means you need to get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay in shape to achieve all you need to do.
Complex carbohydrates, fresh fruits, hardy proteins all form a healthy diet.
Train yourself to stick to it, and your body will show you almost immediate improvements compared to snacking on junk.
Remember, staying healthy is exercising daily, sleeping well, and eating right.
11. Ask For Help
You need to learn how to ask for help when you need it.
Like we mentioned before, teacher burnout, if ignored can lead to serious depression, and if you’re having extreme symptoms, you should consider reaching out for support.
You can try:
- Visiting your family doctor
- Reaching out to trusted friends or colleagues for support
- Accessing resources available on the job for Employee Assistance
Whatever has to be done has to be done to protect your mental and physical health because this comes first before anything else.
In the end, we’ll just say nothing matters more than your health.
If you’re healthy, only then you will be able to work more and fulfill your purpose and accomplish our dreams.
We trust you have found this article useful and helpful to you.
Kindly leave a comment.