Those that go into teaching rarely pick the profession for the salary or because they think it’ll be easy; they pick it because it’s a passion.
As with any stressful job, especially one as demanding as education, even the most passionate teachers are not immune to burning out. It’s not just handling the pressure of controlling and teaching a room full of children, but the added responsibilities of monitoring playground activities, reporting to school committees and meeting with parents. So how do you prevent overloading with stress? How do you stop the daily countdown to the summer holidays when you finally get those few weeks of freedom?
Here are our top tips for teachers to reduce stress and look after themselves:
Find a mentor:
No matter how big or small your school is you are surrounded by professionals that have been through, or are currently going through, the burn-out stage. Sometimes the most comforting words to hear can be, ‘ME TOO!’
An outside perspective can be a useful way of reassessing a situation and getting some advice.
Get a new plan
Repetition is a sure-fire way to take the joy out of teaching; if you feel your lessons are getting repetitive then throw caution to the wind and that lesson plan in the bin. A change is as good as a rest so why not collaborate with your colleagues or check out our teaching resources page for new ideas?
If you are in the midst of a burnout then make the word ‘no’ your new best friend. Saying no to someone else is saying yes to you so don’t feel guilty. Adding more non-essential tasks to your list only stands to make the situation worse.
Have some me time
Although the most obvious cure for burnout, having some time to yourself is easily the most effective. Whether it is 10 minutes at lunch for a walk to the shop or you leave the marking at home and enjoy a night in front of the TV, ensure you’re balancing work life and home life.
So, if you keep these helpful tips in mind you may just be able to avoid the dreaded burnout, and if not, always remember to speak to those you can. Everyone goes through the same thing, even if it doesn’t seem like it, and the more you talk about what troubles you, the more ideas and advice you’ll receive.