Teaching a classroom full of 15-20 students takes a special kind of person, one who has patience and the unique ability to explain concepts that might be hard to understand. Teachers are modern day superheroes, caring for their students five days a week, and trying to do what they can to help each student improve. But even superheroes can feel exhausted on the job pretty quickly.
This feeling of exhaustion often occurs in teachers who are beginning to experience burnout, an emotional state that many professionals feel in times of stress. According to Psychology Today, burnout is “a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, detachment, and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.”
As a teacher, your students are likely to notice when you’re lacking enthusiasm each day in class, making it important to identify when you’re experiencing burnout and learn how to avoid it. A few signs to watch out for include lack of sleep or feelings of exhaustion; forgetfulness; trouble concentrating; and feelings of ineffectiveness.
3 Ways to Avoid Burnout
Do what you love to do. Anything that relaxes you should be how you spend your time after work. Walking, meditation, and journaling are all great ways to relax your mind and take your focus off the classroom. Whatever your hobby is, make time for it when your done in the classroom each day.
There’s a time and place for work and that’s at work. It can be tempting to reply to a late email, but it’s important to dedicate specific times to work each day. Whether that’s by allowing yourself an hour or two to prepare your lesson plan once you get home, or grading papers right after school lets out, make sure you have a clear boundary between work and personal life.
Taking time off is good for anyone and a few days without the stress of work can prove to be exactly what anyone experiencing burnout needs. You don’t need to go on some elaborate getaway, in fact, a few days relaxing at home can be just as beneficial.
Teaching can be a hard profession and the amount of care and work teachers put into their lessons, classrooms, and students needs to be noticed. It’s important that teachers put that same amount of care into their own wellbeing and learn how to identify burnout before it becomes a problem.