For many teachers, the start of a new school year fills them with hope and optimism. And it should. Teaching is challenging but also rewarding. Working with young people is invigorating and inspiring. The possibilities for what you can share each day make you smile.
Teacher burnout is a very real concern that affects teachers across the board. In our years of teaching and training professional teachers we have developed many strategies to combat the issues of teacher burnout and to help them stay engaged in their profession. This blog from compiled after a few lessons of our primary teacher training Dubai and Sharjah will share those strategies and ideas that you can use to survive in the demanding classroom setting . . . and maybe even thrive!
Write your thoughts in a personal journal
This step is really important, because it’s the first step in moving past burnout. You need to start putting all of your feelings onto paper; don’t censor yourself or try to be polite or nice about it. Just let it all out!
It’s important to write down how you feel, as opposed to just talking about it because talking can make you feel worse. Writing helps you process everything that’s going on in your head and heart so that you can actually move forward from it.
Share your feelings with someone else
It can be hard to open up to others, but it is important that you do. If you are feeling burnt out, it is likely that other people are too. Talking to someone who understands the situation will make you feel better and give you ideas on how best to deal with it. A good person to talk to would be a school counsellor or a close friend or family member who has gone through similar experiences. They can provide you with advice based on their own experiences and help you get back on track by helping you see things in a different light.
Sleep more, eat well, and exercise daily
If you’re feeling burnt out as a teacher, chances are that you’re not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is a real problem for many teachers. Not only does it make you feel tired and irritable throughout the day, but it also affects your ability to think clearly and make good decisions. The good news is that getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to beat teacher burnout.
Eating well helps keep your energy level up throughout the day and makes you less cranky with your students when they act up or don’t do what they’re supposed to do (which happens a lot in schools). Exercise releases endorphins which makes you happier and improves your mood as well.
It’s easy to get stuck in your own head and forget that there are other people around you who might have some good advice for dealing with the problem. It’s time to start reaching out to those people.
Adults can be really good at understanding what it feels like when you’re burnt out and not sure how to get out of it. They may have gone through similar experiences in the past and can offer some perspective on what worked for them and what didn’t.
If you’ve got a good relationship with any students, then they’ll probably be happy to talk about what they think might help lift your spirits again – after all, they’ve probably had their fair share of teacher burnout too!
Consult professional teacher trainers
Another step in overcoming teacher burnout is consulting with a trainer or mentor who has experience helping people deal with the same kind of issues that you’re facing now. A good trainer will be able to give you practical advice based on their own personal experiences as well as set up an action plan for moving forward that you can implement immediately. Look into Mind Booster’s teacher training courses UAE to connect with professional mentors and trainers.
Start a new project or hobby outside of teaching
Teachers are often the kind of people who have many interests and hobbies. However, it’s not uncommon for teachers to get so wrapped up in their job that they neglect their personal lives. One way to overcome teacher burnout is to make time for other things in your life too. Suppose you might consider the following suggestions:
- Take up a new hobby like rock climbing or photography.
- Engage in visiting and volunteering at a local charity or animal shelter.
- Join instrument playing or language learning classes.
- Sign up for friendly sports or game matches such as golf or tennis.
- Take up an activity that helps you relax like yoga or meditation.
Re-evaluate Your Priorities
As a teacher, it can be easy to get caught up in the day to day tasks that come with your job. Whether it be lesson planning or grading papers, there are always things that need to be done. However, sometimes we forget about what is truly important in our lives and our careers.
One of the best ways to overcome teacher burnout is by re-evaluating your priorities and making sure that they align with what is most important to you as a person and as an educator.
If you find yourself feeling burnt out on a regular basis, it may be time for some soul searching. Take some time off from work if possible and reflect on why this has been happening so frequently. Once you have an idea of what’s causing your feelings of exhaustion, take steps toward making changes so that you can get back on track with teaching again.
Join other teachers in workshops or programs
One of the best ways to overcome teacher burnout is to get together with other teachers and discuss what works for them and what doesn’t at a professional development workshop for teachers UAE and enlighten each other on how they cope when things get rough. A good way to do this is to attend an in-service workshop or program that focuses on teaching techniques, classroom management or any other aspect of being a teacher.
Make Specific Goals
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by your daily tight schedules and plans that need to be executed. Focus on one thing at a time. Make a list of the things that you want to accomplish during the week and prioritise them. For example, if you have a lot of grading and planning to do, then do it first so that it doesn’t become an afterthought later in the week.
There is no recipe for overcoming teaching burnout, but one thing is certain: until you let go of the guilt and shame associated with experiencing this stress, you’ll never be able to move forward. As educators, we need to stop ignoring the signs of teacher burnout. As a teacher, you need to take action and address the issue earlier. Through awareness, proper planning, and dedication to a profession that you love, you can reduce or eliminate your burnout as a teacher.