It’s sad, but teachers are slowly leaving the profession because of teacher burnout. Teachers are struggling with all the demands of the job. Are you asking, how can you possibly manage to do this another year and another year after that?
The teacher burnout rate in teachers is rising. More and more pre-service teacher college programs have class numbers that are dwindling. No one wants to be a teacher. This is alarming and with the pandemic that has struck our world in the last two years, this is continuing. My hope with this blog is to give some simple tips that you can implement right away to help with the stress of teaching.
This will allow you to fight that teacher burnout and be able to love what you do. We all had a point in time when we knew why we wanted to be a teacher. It’s important to keep that as your driving focus.
Realize that you are not a superhero and that you can’t do everything.
We all try really hard to put on that show that we have it all together. Honestly, be real with yourself and just know that you don’t and might be the teacher burnout. That is okay.
Many of us are teachers but, we also wear many other hats. We need to remember that in order to to be good at our job, we need to take care of ourselves.
Fight Teacher Burnout by making Priorities
Make lists by priorities, what has to get done, what needs to get done, and what would you like to do.
I have found that this is something that has relieved a lot of my stress. Making lists is a way that I feel like I have accounted for the things that need to get done. Do I get a little obsessive about crossing things off? Maybe. Do I re-write the lists after I have crossed them off because I get obsessive-compulsive about how messy it looks? I sure do.
This is my process and it’s how I structure the HAVES, NEEDS, and LIKES that I like to call it. Making lists with those headings is super helpful. You can make priorities of what needs to get done when. I put dates next to items if they have a due date. Those report cards can’t get done after the due date, neither can the IEPs so I can prioritize.
Also, if making things from scratch such as student materials for collecting data and teaching are just taking up to much of your time then let me help! Join my email list and gain access to my free library of resources!
After lists, make a schedule and try to stick to it as best as you can to avoid teacher burnout.
I am someone that if I don’t have a way to hold myself accountable and it’s really something I’m not into doing. I like to make a schedule to see what I’m going to do and the time I am hoping to spend on it.
Making that schedule and then making it kind of public helps you to follow through because if we refer back to #1 we all want to look like we have our stuff together.
Once you make the schedule put in pieces of time where you do things for yourself.
So you have prioritized, you have made a list, you have it scheduled out. Now it’s time to take that schedule and put some spaces in it where you are giving yourself a break here and there. Take small pieces of time while you keep those due dates in mind and you take time for yourself.
Take Time for Yourself to Fight Burnout
It could mean you stop and watch a movie, you get your nails done, you have dinner with a friend, or you read a book that you want to. Making sure that you are taking breaks to do things that you love will keep you fresh and re-energized to come back to what you need to do with the proper devotion.
Don’t feel the pressure to have it all figured out to avoid teacher burnout.
You are in a position where you are constantly growing, evolving, and changing. This can be super overwhelming and at times you are just not going to have a handle on it all.
Take Time for Yourself
You are going to have to be okay with times when things are not figured out. I spend a lot of the summer with a whirlwind in my head of wondering what my class list is going to look like, what will my schedule look like. I feel like this can also apply to the ever-changing rules of the pandemic and what in-person learning should look like. So, let go that you don’t have it all figured out and just enjoy yourself. Do what you can in the moment that you have.
I start to take control of the things that I can it has made it easier for me to deal with. I hope that you find that some or all of these tips have helped you gain the mindset to be the teacher you always wanted. If you are still feeling stuck I have a book recommendation from a fellow special educator I think would be perfect for you!
And lastly, don’t feel like you are doing it all alone. I know many times special education can feel like an island and you are there all by yourself. Join my Facebook group and work with me and others on fighting that teacher burnout!