Teacher burnout is real and sometimes it’s hard to avoid it. Even more now than ever, it seems there’s less and less reasons to stay committed. However, as educators, it’s just as hard to walk away from such an important profession that we’re so passionate about. So how do we stay balanced and avoid teacher burnout?
First, we find our people. The ones who understand why we’re here. We come together and we support each other. I’m here to support YOU and I wanted to share a few more ways to avoid the dreaded teacher burnout. Check out these quick 8 tips that can help you stay strong through the struggles!
Tip #1: Stay Healthy
For starters, we need a healthy mind, body, and soul to overcome all the obstacles teaching throws at us. When we’re unhealthy, stress tends to strike harder and it may seem like the only way out to quit. When you make your health a priority, it’s so much easier to fend off those negative feelings and know that your body is there to back you up.
Make exercise a priority. Find a way to workout that you enjoy and can stay consistent. This will release so many endorphins to keep you happy and healthy, as well as keep your body strong. Pay attention to the nutrients you fuel your body with. Good eating coupled with exercise will benefit you in and out of the classroom.
Sleep should also be high on the list of priorities for avoiding burnout. Get enough sleep for your body and mind to feel rested and ready to tackle your days. You need a lot of energy to engage a classroom of students daily and that requires adequate sleep! Healthy eating, sleep, and exercise all go hand and hand when it comes to staying at your best!
Tip #2: Stay Prepared
It’s no secret that teachers have a billion things to do throughout the day. Staying on top of prep work and lesson plans will help you feel way more prepared walking into each day. Teaching isn’t a thing you can really wing on a daily basis. You HAVE to prepare lessons and activities ahead of time or you will be stuck in utter chaos. Plan ahead for as long as you can, whether than be a week of lessons, or an entire unit. Schedule your planning in a way that gives you time to yourself. Try to avoid waiting until Sunday night to plan your week and ending up with the “Sunday Blues”. You will always thank yourself later. We know that plans will sometimes change and being flexible is key. Having a plan to tweak is much better than having no plan at all!
Tip #3: Connect with your Colleagues
Teachers need each other. This is a profession that is extremely heavy to try to carry all alone. It can be detrimental to you to try and do it all yourself with no support. Find another teacher you can trust and do what you can to make sure you are all taken care of. Vent when you need to. They understand because chances are, they can relate. Allow them to give you perspective and listen to their experiences. Share your positives and grow together. Give and get advised when you need it. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable! Uplift each other in your struggles and celebrate your wins. In order to avoid teacher burnout, you definitely have to have a good support system. Connect and care for yourself with the Teacher Self Care Bingo FREEBIE!
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Tip #4: Don’t Stay Stuck in a Rut
Not every school is going to be for you. You may find yourself at a school full of people that don’t align with your values because it happens. Don’t stay stuck in a situation for so many years that it puts a damper on your love for teaching. Be unafraid to find another school that will help bring back that passion for education. You deserve it.
If your current position isn’t allowing you to be the teacher you had imagined you’d be, don’t be afraid to find another school or grade level that is better for you. Find a team that aspires to be positive, collaborative, and committed to growing. Keep yourself first and find what makes your heart happy. When you’re happy, your students will be happier and everyone wins.
Tip #5: Keep Growing Professionally
The words professional development might make you groan, but I’m here to help shift that mindset. I’m not talking about the meetings with articles printed that you and your colleagues discuss together, while really wishing the meeting was an email. I’m talking about the courses and workshops that light your soul back on fire and remind you why you chose education as your career. Remembering your why helps keep you rooted in what matters and this helps so much when you’re feeling burned out. Super into flexible seating but haven’t dived in? Grow professionally and seek out information you need to get started. Want to incorporate more hands on and student led learning but are scared to? Find resources to research and keep growing for YOU and your students. Building a student centered classroom is an AWESOME direction to take to help relieve stress and build a thriving community with your students. Check out more on how to do that HERE!
Tip #6: Set Your Boundaries
I’m sure a teacher has told you this before and you have responded to it with a laugh and disbelief at your comment but I’m going to say it anyway:
Leave the schoolwork at school!
Sounds crazy impossible right? While sometimes it probably will be, try NOT to make it a habit to take work home every night. You must set boundaries for work and home so that you can create a healthy balance between the two. Staying committed to your boundaries will set you up for good systems overall. When you know you aren’t planning to take work home, you will create productive times to get things done before you leave your classroom, helping you feel overall successful. Get those boundaries in place and enjoy your time outside of work!
Tip #7: Be YOU!
Be creative. Find your teaching style. Involve yourself in a bigger community to find other teachers that you can connect to and get ideas from. Prioritize self care so that you can stay energized enough to do what you love. Don’t try to compare or do what the next teacher is doing because YOU bring amazing things to the classroom. Figure out how to bring your special talents to your lessons and your kids will love it. Bring your passion and let that tackle any burnout feelings that may creep in.
Tip #8: Have FUN!
The most important tip of all is to have fun daily with your students. Laughter is amazing medicine for any and everything and your classroom should be bursting with it. Learning is fun and we should never lose sight of that. Bring play back into your lessons and watch everyone thrive! There are TONS of resources to help incorporate several fun activities while practicing crucial academic skills. Check out some of them HERE and HERE!
I really hope you enjoyed learning about some ways to avoid teacher burnout! Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list! Not only will you get the most up to date tips, tricks, and classroom projects… and of course more fun FREEBIES including the Self Care Teacher Bingo FREEBIE! You will also have exclusive access to tons of digital how-to videos! If you would like to learn about this and other things happening in my classroom follow me @sweetnsauerfirsties on Instagram.
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