Teacher Burnout: You’re Not Alone
As we relax into summer, and hopefully feel less pressure than we did during the school year, it's a good time to check for signs of Teacher Burnout.
When burnout hits, you tend to feel very lonely. You think that you are the only person dealing with these feelings, and you're also embarrassed that you have "failed" by allowing yourself to get this way. In this post, I want to address these two thoughts.
First, you are not a failure for succumbing to Teacher Burnout. I know I went through the phase where I thought I was such a loser for feeling that way at the end of the school year. "I must not be a very good teacher if I get this way," I told myself. Those thoughts seem so crazy now that I understand what the problem was. One of the reasons I was so burned out was because I tend to put my all into everything I do, and I didn't know how to bring that passion in a way that saved some part of my mental health for June. Burnout can happen to anyone at anytime. There are ways to help prevent it, but nobody is completely immune to it.
Second, you are not alone. Every teacher deals with some form of burnout from time to time. You are not a failure if you go to a colleague and share your stress with him or her. In fact, sharing these feelings with other educators is crucial to your professional development. Teachers in your building can help you deal with some of the issues you are facing at the moment.
If you don't feel comfortable talking to your colleagues because the burnout has something to do with them, then reaching out to your PLN might be the way for you to go. There have been many instances where I have helped friends deal with their different levels of burnout through social media. I was just another set of ears to help them as they vented about their stress and considered the reasons for it. It's never bad to have multiple people to listen to your issues and offer advice, and social media can be a little less embarrassing than face-to-face.
I would never be able to make it through my instances of burnout if it were not for my network of friends and colleagues to help me work through the stress of my teaching life. Everyone talks about the value of being a connected educator to make you a better teacher, but these connections can serve to help you personally as well as professionally.