Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Avoid Teacher Burnout

What veteran teachers know, and new teachers will soon come upon, is that teaching is an exhaustive career. It is not just time in the classroom, but outside. And in between classes. Your teaching day is busy from sun up until sundown, and even later. You will have a short career if you do not do things to relax and make things easier. Here are some tips to avoid teacher burnout.

Teachers need sleep. A sure way to teacher stress and burnout is by not sleeping enough. You will have to get up early, no way around that. But you can set the time you go to sleep at night. You will have to gauge it yourself. What time do you get sleepy and struggle to stay awake? That's the time you need to be in bed by. Do you drag when getting up? This is a sure sign that you are not sleeping enough. Teachers not getting enough sleep makes the day drag. And you are not alert enough to really be effective. Not enough sleep can lower your immunity as well. Bottom line is, get PLENTY of sleep!

Teachers need to get a handle on work to do at home. The less work you do at home, the better. That means you must come up with assignments that are not onerous and time consuming to grade. With grading also comes recording. The best place to do this is at school. Try to grade and record during breaks, and immediately after school in your classroom. You don't have to assign graded assignments on a daily basis. Give yourself a couple of grade-free days a week. This includes homework. Do not assign homework just because. Try and not do any heavy grading over the weekend. Read some tips on assigning homework here.

Every teaching day is a new day. Start off with a positive attitude. The failures and problems of yesterday are gone. Focus on today, not the past. This means having a positive attitude in your classroom daily. If you think teaching is drudgery, then you are probably in the wrong profession. Get help from other teachers. When you go home, leave the problems of teaching at school.

Find fellow teachers to network with and talk to. Venting your frustrations is a good thing. You can be supported, and others can be supported by you. There is probably another teacher at your school who is having even a rougher time. Concentrate on what works, share, and exchange ideas. Having a support group of teachers can be very helpful.

Teachers need to realize that there are some things that will not get better. You can't change everything. Not all days will go smooth. Not all students will learn or can be reached. You need to come to grips with reality. Somethings will not change and you need to accept that. You can change your attitude!

Here are some more teacher burnout and stress resources:

>>Dealing with teacher stress.

>>Where can teachers go for help?
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