Professional Learning

Teacher Burnout: Start Preventing It Now!

August 8, 2013
Photo credit: bhope34 via flickr (CC BY 2.0)

School is starting for many of us around the country, and students and teachers are excited to get together and do some amazing things. This is the perfect time of year to put together a plan that will help you prevent Teacher Burnout by the end of the school year. Here are some great tips for you and your colleagues.

1. Partner Up

At the start of the year, find someone who's willing be your go-to guy/girl. This will be the person you'll talk to when things get stressful or when you just need someone to connect with during the school year. Having an ally in your building that you can count on for support is huge when trying to prevent burnout. The other side of the coin is being there for your friend when he or she needs you. You cannot pile onto a friend and then not provide any support in return. You might feel great, but you'll be burning out a friend -- and that's the last thing you want to do.

2. Make Time for You

Find a new hobby, go back to an old one, or do something once a week that is just for you. We all live in a busy world where family, friends, jobs and other responsibilities request our attention all hours of the day. Carve out some personal time in your week. It could be an hour or two of yoga or working in the garden. This time should just be for getting away from everyone and everything. It's OK to be selfish for a small amount of time each week so that you can clear your head. Finding this "me time" will allow you to be fresh all week, every week of the year, and your students and family will thank you for it.

3. Just Say No

This is tough for educators because we are wired to help anyone who asks. It feels great to say yes to people and help them accomplish their tasks, but it comes with consequences. Educators often spend so much time helping others that we forget to help ourselves. Managing a calendar and limiting the amount of additional work we take on will make life easier to handle. More time dedicated to resting up, enjoying ourselves with family and friends, and pursuing other relaxing activities will pay dividends down the road. Saying no might feel bad at first, but it will lead to feeling great in the long run.

Take these three tips to heart, and you will be able to tackle anything that comes your way during the course of the school year. It is so important that we take care of ourselves -- that way, we can be there in the classroom for our students when they need us the most. I hope everyone has an outstanding start of the school year, and make sure to take great care of yourself.

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