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June 27, 2024

5 Ways to Reclaim Your Love for Education Amid Stress and Burnout

Education is quite an exciting profession, inspiring others to action with the opportunity to shape the minds and impact the trajectory of future leaders. It can be pretty luring with the potential of summers and holidays off and commitment-free weekends.

Yet, the pressures of modern teaching can sometimes overshadow its rewards, leading to stress and burnout. Reclaiming your love for education is not just essential for your well-being but also for the success and inspiration of the very students you choose to lead. Here are five ways you can navigate success when the school year gets challenging.

1. Remembering Your Purpose

Pause for a moment to reflect on the moment you decided to seek out the opportunity you now hold. Recall the feelings of excitement, trepidation, and gusto you enjoyed as you received your offer letter to when you received your class roster of names. It is this feeling and these moments that help you reflect on the reason you became a teacher in the first place. Know that it is okay to pause and remember the beginning of your journey, you owe it to yourself and your students to realign your actions with your purpose.

As you recall your why, visualize the impact you have had from that moment to now. Imagine your students growing up, taking the lessons you taught them, and ultimately following their passion and pursuing their dreams, just like you. Whether it is mastering a difficult lesson concept, seeing students light up with knowledge, or just knowing that your positive presence in the classroom is making a world of difference, know that your purpose is a powerful motivator.

2. Identifying Your Impact and Achievements

Between morning, lunch, and possibly afterschool duty, calling parents, and submitting grades on time (kudos to you if you’re one of the chosen), it becomes very easy to overlook your accomplishments.  In the daily hustle of teaching, acknowledging your impact and achievements is crucial for maintaining a positive outlook and a sense of purpose. Every small success you achieve and the document is a clear indicator that you are heading in the right direction of supporting students.  

As you continue through the school year, keep an achievement log that you can reflect on as you increase your capacity as a teacher. Consider the feedback you received, did you implement it with fidelity and success? If you never received feedback, did you navigate the campus and resources yourself and fix the issue? Recognize it. By acknowledging these wins, you are building a large bank account of success, that you can later pull from when times get challenging during the school year.

3. Reconnecting with Your Support Community

There are times that teaching can seem like an isolated task, especially if you are new to a campus or content area, but know that you are not alone. Your colleagues, friends, online communities, and family form a vital support network that can provide encouragement, advice, and a listening ear. Start now, from whatever point you are, and get connected with other educators teaching your same content, and grade level or share similar teaching challenges.

Being deliberate about joining social media platforms that will offer you a place to ask and offer support to other educators will feel more edifying as you reset for the upcoming school year. Through meaningful connections, you will experience a sense of community and shared commitment to students and self-development. You will also find opportunities to share your expertise and remind you of your passion and impact. Collaboration offers the opportunity to lighten the mental toll teaching can take on well-meaning educators. Connecting with a mentor or seasoned educator who can help you navigate the challenging moments, will also allow you a safe space to reflect and push forward.

4. Making a Plan for Finishing Strong

Acknowledging that you are burned out, stressed out, and ready to get out, is the first step. This is important. Now that you have that out of the way, recognize what you may need and seek out that support. Burnout manifests itself at times physically, mentally, and emotionally and can sneak up if you are not thoughtful about identifying what support you need.  

As you move forward, think about what you can do differently in your weekly, if not daily routine to incorporate opportunities to remember your purpose, connect with others who can provide thought partnership, help you think through your options, and help you make a plan of success to move forward. Understand what your limitations are and maximize them so that in the end, you maintain the will to stick with your passion and are providing your students with the best teacher possible.

5. Create a Pattern of Self-reflection

Remaining self-reflective will allow you to set realistic goals for yourself and your development.  Break down your workload into smaller manageable tasks and find a system that will work for your goals. Consider what is achievable, rather than how you can reach perfection. As you take time for yourself, do the other things you love, whether that is exercising, a creative hobby, connecting with loved ones, or just your weekly electronic binge. It is important to remember that you deserve this time.

Reclaiming your love for education amid stress and burnout is a journey that requires introspection, connection, and proactive planning. By remembering your purpose, identifying your impact and achievements, reconnecting with your support community, making a plan for finishing strong, and creating a pattern of self-reflection, you can navigate the challenges of teaching with renewed passion and resilience.

Remember, the impact you have on your students is immeasurable, and your well-being is crucial to their success. Take care of yourself, celebrate your achievements, and never lose sight of the incredible difference you make in the lives of your students every day.


Mrs. Randy Richards has over a decade of experience as a leader within educational organizations. She is an advocate of the belief that effective systems, grounded in best practices that support community and staff development through equitable practices, are foundational for affecting change. She is the author of the book Before the First Day, which encourages anyone in their first year of teaching.

Mrs. Richards currently holds a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from DeVry University and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Statistics from CUNY Baruch College. She is the founder of The Grain LLC, an organization committed to providing professional development, and innovative design services, helping to achieve academic excellence and career success.  She is committed to ensuring intentionality and equity drive her work with all stakeholders of partnered organizations.

Connect with Mrs. Richards on LinkedIn

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