The Struggle is Real: Understanding Teacher Burnout Symptoms and Prevention
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As the school year is coming to an end, we want to bring attention to teacher burnout and help you to identify symptoms, and some helpful tips to avoid it. Almost every educator can agree that this time of the year can get quite stressful. In addition, the struggle of learning how to teach through a pandemic has added new challenges for teachers, contributing to a greater risk of teacher burnout.
As we highlight Mental Health Awareness month, we recognize the importance of battling teacher burnout during end-of-year stress, so we sat down with different educators in the Houston area and learned some tips to share with you.
What is Teacher Burnout?
Teachers are always going above and beyond for their students, which is great for our kids but can be very hard on teachers and can even cause what is described as teacher burnout. In this blog post, we’ll describe some tips and tricks for identifying and avoiding teacher burnout.
Identifying Teacher Burnout Symptoms
True teacher burnout is more than experiencing periods of tiredness or feeling overwhelmed, and can lead to long-term health problems. Some symptoms of teacher burnout to watch out for include: fatigue and sleep issues, loss of appetite, anxiety and depression, difficulty concentrating, and periods of forgetfulness. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, keep reading to learn about some ways to avoid teacher burnout.
When you look at the overwhelming stack of papers on your desk, it’s easy to get caught up in the fact that you have so much left to do. Instead of constantly bringing that pile of work home with you, set a boundary for yourself.
Spending every second of the day finishing up tasks can lead to you prioritizing your work instead of your mental health, causing burnout. Be able to set boundaries between your school and personal life to prevent you from bringing that stress home. If you need to spend more time than usual finishing work, plan a day where you stay at school late and focus on completing your work at that time. Knowing when to leave your work at school and setting a personal boundary can save you the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Utilize Your Time Management Skills
When you think about every single thing you have left on your calendar, it might seem nearly impossible. Instead of looking at your workload as a whole, make a daily to-do list. Prioritize your most important tasks for the day and focus on finishing them- when you complete that list, it can help you feel accomplished and ready to tackle more. In addition, trying out different time-management techniques can help avoid procrastination and burnout.
Find Supportive Colleagues
Before you think that you are the only teacher in Houston feeling burnt out during these last couple months- trust us, you’re not. Many teachers can feel end-of-year stress; instead of going through it alone, reach out to colleagues you trust to share how you’re feeling.
More often than not, your co-workers will be able to give you the support you need to finish strong. In addition, veteran educators who have experienced teacher burnout may be able to give you tips on what they did to avoid it.
Take Time to REST
Repeat this to yourself: Your well-being is more important than grading those last 10 assignments. You can get them done tomorrow. Prioritizing rest not only makes you feel better, but it also sets you up to have a productive next day.
Be the best version of yourself by prioritizing your health and well-being; both you and your students will thank you for it. Find more resources to prevent teacher burnout here: https://www.weareteachers.com/prevent-teacher-burnout/
Grab a mat for a teacher appreciation yoga session/video to unwind.