How To Deal With Teacher Burnout

Long hours and heavy workloads are the rule and not the exception when it comes to teaching. Any teacher will say how rewarding their job is, but what they may NOT say is how exhausting and stressful it can be as well. It is no wonder teachers can be called prey to teacher burnout. 

As a teacher, you are building the minds of the next generation, a task that can be quite the undertaking and make you feel rather overwhelmed at times. Every educator deserves to go through their day with a positive outlook towards their school, students and future. If you are starting to exhibit the negative effects brought on by teacher burnout, you aren’t alone, and there is help. 

What Is Teacher Burnout?

Teacher burnout has many symptoms, and is broadly defined as a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, detachment, and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment. Most teachers are high achievers who take their job seriously and work long hours to make sure they fulfill all their goals for themselves and their students. That mindset can lend itself to overwork and — eventually — burnout. Here are some warning signs of teacher burnout to look out for.

Warning Signs of Burnout

  • Exhaustion. Feelings of major fatigue and disconnection due to that fatigue.
  • Joylessness. Not smiling or laughing for extended periods of time. 
  • Anxiety. Restlessness. Never feeling satisfied with your work. Overthinking and not giving yourself a break.
  • Feeling Overwhelmed. Feeling so inundated with work and that it seemingly never ends, no matter how much you do. 
  • Seeking Out Isolation. Not wanting to be around anyone and seeking to be alone constantly. This can be mixed with feelings of sadness, exhaustion or feelings of being so overwhelmed you want to turn the world off. 

5 Tips to Help with Teacher Burnout

1. Self-Care and Mindfulness

While the term “self-care” is relatively a new phrase, the practice of self-care is as old as time. As a teacher, you are in a state of perpetual motion. You should not only be proud of yourself, but allow yourself to relax. Treat yourself well. Put work on hold while you treat yourself to a massage, a shopping trip, or a relaxing night binge watching one of your favorite TV shows. 

If you have a hard time turning your work persona off, schedule a time in your calendar to shut that part of yourself off and allow for some quality down time. While you may feel fine at the moment, teacher burnout can begin to creep into your life if you don’t allow yourself these little pockets of time for respite so you can recharge.

2. Don’t Give Yourself More Work Than Needed

Be aware of how much work you are bringing home to work on. Instead of working all night at home, rework your lesson plans so more can be learned in class and less is taken home for you to have to deal with after hours. Control your workload and do not allow it to take time away from yourself or loved ones. 

3. Get Support When Needed

More often than not, your co-workers and supervisors know exactly what you are going through if you are experiencing burn out. Talking to someone about what you are feeling is very important to your mental wellbeing. 

Hearing that what you are experiencing also happens to others can help to put your mind at ease more often than not. Having a quality support team where you can share, vent and be there for each other is a great lifeline in the battle to ease burnout. 

4. Prepare for Inevitable Ups and Downs

Be prepared that you may feel some of these symptoms when you have a particularly rough semester/quarter.

No one is perfect or infallible when it comes to these feelings — it is how we deal with them that can make or break us. Expect that you may need help with burnout and give yourself some space to make mistakes. It is healthy to have ebbs and flows in your profession and it says nothing about how dedicated you are as a teacher. 

5. Switch Up What or How You Teach

If you are feeling burnout from a particular class or subject, see if you can’t sub out for a new class you would be interested and qualified to teach in. Change fields if you must. There is no rule book that says you have to teach one subject or one way only. As long as you have the qualifications, switch up your teaching routine and kick that burnout to the curb. 

Engaging Coursework for Teachers and Students Alike

At De Alba Math Center, we know that teachers can always use a little extra help formulating coursework and lessons. Our electronic math STAAR-aligned resources have been designed to keep students engaged and learning while still having fun.

Our workbooks are easily accessible online and fully compatible with Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, and they offer electronic annotation for both teachers and students. We also offer fun and engaging printables for hands-on learning opportunities that are TEKS-standard and STAAR-aligned. 

Contact us today to see how we can help keep your students engaged with quality math solutions!


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