What Causes Teacher Burnout and How to Avoid it

What Causes Teacher Burnout

What exactly is teacher burnout? More importantly, how can I avoid or put an end to teacher burnout? Teacher burnout (or burnout in any field) usually comes with boredom. Unfortunately, you may not realize that you’re bored. When you’re burned out you feel easily frustrated, tired, stressed out, and ready for new job.

That’s just it though, you don’t necessarily need a new job. You simply need something new. Burnout usually strikes after you’ve taught the same subject, or grade level for several years. So, what is the best way to prevent, or bring an end to teacher burnout? Here are 10 ways to end teacher burnout.

What Causes Teacher Burnout?

1. Make a Switch To Avoid Teacher Burnout

When you start to feel burned out the best thing you can do is switch grade levels. I know that this creates a lot of work because you have to switch rooms, learn a new curriculum, find new materials, etc. These are the stimulations that your brain needs. Remember boredom brings on burnout, and switching grade levels wakes your brain up.

Some teachers enjoy switching schools and/or districts as well. This will also help end teacher burnout. Just be careful that you’re not leaving a school in the hopes that all of your problems will go away. Bureaucracy is bureaucracy and there will always be administrative decisions that you won’t agree with.

2. Learn a New Skill

In life, we always have things that interest us, and a lot of times we put off doing them. I enjoy watching furniture makeover videos. I recently reupholstered my dining room chairs. I had a ton of fun doing it, and learned a ton of new things. I don’t even care that it didn’t come out perfect. Learning how to reupholster chairs woke up my brain and allowed me to be creative in the way I’ve always wanted to be. Life cannot always be about work, and it can’t always be about other people in our lives. By following one of your passions, you’ll be more present at work knowing you have something fun to look forward to when you leave work.

3. Mix Fun Ideas into Your Existing Curriculum

Find new ways to teach topics that you don’t enjoy teaching. If you find yourself saying that you hate teaching a certain unit, find a different way to teach it. For example, I used to find the Common Core Standard of teaching students how characters respond to major events and challenges a bit monotonous until I created this lesson.

How Characters Respond to Major Events and Challenges

You can use resources from your co-workers, or TPT to help find creative ways to teach familiar topics. You’re brain will thank you, and so will your students.

4. Have Family, Social, and Personal Rejuvenation each Weekend

We need to take care of ourselves in a variety of ways. We want time for our family, but we also need “Me Time”. Make sure that you carve time out each weekend for social and personal rejuvenation.

Whatever you choose to do, however, I STRONGLY recommend NOT doing your lesson plans on Sunday night. That is not a fun way to begin your week or end your weekend. My recommendation is to finish your lesson plans before heading home for the weekend.

5. Spruce Yourself Up

I know you’re thinking this has nothing to do with teaching. It, however, has everything to do with you and how you feel about yourself. Remember, your brain is bored and your goal is to spice up your life. Sprucing yourself up will do just that. Try a new shade of lipstick, or wear your hair differently. Take a few extra minutes tomorrow morning to make yourself feel better about the way you look.

6. Meet Some New People

Once again, we’re trying to break the monotony that is causing you to feel burned out as a teacher. I’m not saying ditch your old friends. I am saying that by meeting new people you can explore new hobbies, new ideas, etc. Meetup.com is a great way to find people who have similar interests as you. Use good judgment of course, but sometimes a new friend is a great way to change things up just a bit.

7. Visit the Library

The library always has new resources. If you haven’t visited your local library recently, you may be surprised with all of the free resources. Everything from free museum passes to digital resources are at your disposal. Libraries also have a lot of free events which they host. If you’re looking for new things to try, take a trip to your local library.

8. Go To Sleep an Hour Earlier

This helps in so many ways. Going to bed earlier will help you feel more refreshed in the morning and get more done before you even leave your house. Being more rested will also change your outlook at work. Try it for one week.

9. Take a Short Walk Each Day

Being in nature is healing. Even in winter time being outside for a short time can be invigorating. Make sure that you take in the beauty of nature while you’re outside as well. Nature is cathartic and having a little in our lives each day goes a long way.

10. Stop Being a Perfectionist

Remember that done is better than perfect. Sometimes we stress over things that truly do not matter. Teaching can be very stressful and there are many demands on us each day. We can’t accomplish all of them perfectly.

Want More Tips to End Teacher Burnout? I recently recorded a YouTube video about this and included a few more tips. Happy teaching!

Looking for more Teaching Ideas? Check out the May Teacher Talk posts below:

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What Causes Teacher Burnout and How to Avoid it
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