By Teachers, For Teachers
Teaching profession burnout is no joke. It’s something that many in the teaching profession go through, and for some of them it can lead to quitting their job. While we have all had our good days and bad days, for some in the teaching profession the bad days outweigh the good ones and can lead to feeling burned out. While it is completely natural to feel moments of frustration, when it becomes a feeling that is felt more times than it is not, there’s a problem. Cognitive Behavioral Therapist Homaira Kabir believes that there are a few things that may be causing an individual to feel this way. Here are some of the things that may be interfering with your daily energy and causing your teacher burnout.
Do remember when you were a teenager and could sleep in until noon? Those were the days. Can you imagine how great it would be if you were able to sleep for nine or even 10 hours a night? You would definitely be able to handle any type of classroom crisis that came your way if you got that kind of sleep every night. Unfortunately, in today’s world, most of us aren’t even getting the recommended seven hours of sleep a night. If you aren’t getting enough sleep and you’re up checking your email or watching television all night, then you aren’t allowing your body to get the rest it needs in order for your brain to stay active and alert, and to function properly. Go to bed early, and shut off your electronics. Your brain and body will thank you for it.
If you’re the type of person that sits at her seat all day long or any chance that you get, then you’re not moving enough. While you may think you’re getting enough physical exercise and movement throughout your day, research shows that you most likely aren’t. If you think that hitting the gym for 30 minutes a day will offset you sitting down for most of the day, you’re mistaken. If you want to have more energy, then you need to get up and move. Instead of lecturing while being seated, try walking around the classroom. When you have a lunch break or a free period, take a walk or do a few yoga poses in your classroom. When your students are reading silently, stand up and stretch. Whatever you can do to get up and move and keep your energy flowing, the better it’ll be for not only your physical heath, but your mental health as well.
Did you know that your emotions direct your thoughts and actions, which can change the way that you think and feel? If you’re like how I used to be, and spend the majority of your time thinking negatively, you are draining your emotional energy. Being optimistic, hopeful, and savoring the moment are all things that can help to combat this negative way of thinking. Instead of dwelling on what you can’t change in your life or even in your classroom, focus on the positive things in your life, and what you can do to make your life and classroom even better.
Routine helps to keep us in our comfort zone, and just as our students thrive on routine, so do we. However, when life becomes too predictable, it hinders us from trying new things and exploring the world around us. If you’re feeling teacher burnout, it may be a sign that you need to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. If you have always wanted to try skydiving, then go ahead and give it a try. If there’s a new teaching strategy that you think would benefit your students, then try it. Take a moment to step outside of your comfort zone and routine, and see what happens. You may just find yourself again.
One of the negatives of living in this technological era is that we are bombarded with new information every single day. As we become more and more inundated with these bouts of information, our brains have a hard time processing it. When our brains can’t process all of this information, it can lead to stress and teacher burnout. One of the best ways to beat the information overload is to set limits on your electronics. For example, you can set a limit on how often you check your email or text your friends. Instead, go outdoors and enjoy nature and keep your mind clear.
To combat teacher burnout, go to bed early and get enough sleep. Try and move as much as possible throughout your day, and be positive by taking a few minutes to live in the moment. Do something out of the ordinary that isn’t a part of your everyday routine, and every day for a few minutes try and shut yourself off from the technical world and get outdoors in nature. Your brain and body will thank you.
Is it possible to avoid teacher burnout? Do you have any tips or ideas to share with others in the teaching profession? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you on this topic.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.