**Last Updated on October 6, 2020**
Teacher burnout is a prevalent thing inside most professional spaces, especially inside the education community. You have probably worked with someone who left teaching simply because it was no longer worth the toll on their mental health. In this post you will learn some ways you can avoid teacher burnout.
This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission. You can read more in my disclosure policy.
Let’s first address what burnout is. In 2019 the WHO (World Health Organization) included burn-out in the International Classification of Diseases. They essentially say “burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
They describe it by these three characteristics:
- lack of energy and/or feeling exhausted
- increased mental distance from your job (feeling negative, cynical, etc.)
- reduced professional efficacy
Any of those sound like you? I get it because I’ve been there.
Hopefully by the WHOs actions to add burnout to the list of diseases will help reduce the negative stigma around struggling with work burnout and eventually cause more guidelines to be put in place to reduce the chance of people getting burnt out in the first place.
Ways to Avoid Teacher Burnout
But what about now? What do we do right now while we are working through burnout or trying to put practices in place to avoid getting burnt out in the future?
This podcast shares 5 things you can do right now to avoid teacher burnout. Listen here for more details. Plus, this podcast is a sneak peek at one of the first lessons inside The Organized Teacher Framework™.
Set a Weekly Schedule
As teachers we can get so wrapped up in all that we have to do that we spend all our time at school, without even meaning to. Decide a schedule that works for your personal and professional life.
I suggest switching the narrative. We usually celebrate leaving “early” (meaning on time) once or twice a week. Instead, choose one or two days a week to be your “late” days. Then, the rest of the week you can leave on time knowing that you will be staying late later on in the week.
Create a Daily Schedule
I recommend assigning themes (or focuses) to your day. You will always have a list a mile long of things to do. Instead of hitting each day head on and trying to tackle on the things on your to-do list, try assigning a theme to each day.
For example, Tuesday afternoons can be your “late” day as well as your “grading” day. That means you don’t worry about grades Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, OR Sunday! This frees your brain up from stressing about when you will find time to get that next assignment graded.
Set focuses for your day or you can set a focus for each of your “alone times” at work. (Conference time and before or after school time)
Use Personal Days
I know, I know! I may have just used the most disgusting and vulgar word ever. As a teacher, I was always told to save my personal days for “one day.” As a planner and worrier, I get that. And I did that! And guess what? When I left the classroom to move abroad, I also left 20+ personal days that I could not be paid out for. My “one day” never came and I gave up twenty of them for it.
Make sure you have positive teachers in your life that you are getting wisdom and encouragement from. This goes for both IRL teachers and teachers online. One of the quickest ways to get burnt out in teaching is by surrounding yourself, or even having frequent conversations with the Negative Nancys on your campus.
Also, if you follow teacher people on Instagram that make you feel bad about yourself unfollow them YESTERDAY! It’s not worth it.
Practice Saying No! (And not feeling guilty!)
And finally, you have to learn to get comfortable saying no. My first two to three years of teaching I said yes to EVERYTHING! Part of me saying yes was because I was new and excited and wanted to show myself as a leader. Another part of me saying yes was because I was single and childless. This made me feel like it was my responsibility to take on more tasks than other colleagues who had families at home.
What I failed to neglect was that by saying yes to everything school related, I was saying no to everything me related.
Links From The Show
This post may contain affiliate links.
Kickstart Your School Year Course (now The Organized Teacher Framework™)
The story of my 3 Day Vacation from school
Connect with Kelly
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Photo by Shelby Buchtien of SAB Photography
Until next time,
If you found this helpful, make sure to pin it to your Pinterest board so you can refer back to it or so other teachers can find it!