stressed. Teachers feeling the effects of burnout may struggle to develop engaging lessons and implement them well. All these factors may impact the relationships between students and teachers which are imperative for most learners.
I’m sure none of this is surprising. You may have felt or seen these realities yourself! But…are you ready for the good news?
Teacher burnout can be prevented! Educator resilience can be built! It’s time to move from focusing on the problem (teacher burnout) to the solution (educator resilience) Are you with me?!
What exactly is educator resilience? Resilience is defined as, “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.” To take a line from the classic children’s book about Alexander, teachers will have “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days!” If teachers are well prepared and focused on their own self-care and resilience, they will be able to bounce back. The more teachers bounce back, the less likely it is they will experience burnout.
So how do we build resilience as teachers? I have a few ideas for you. Here are ten ways you can increase your resilience and decrease the likelihood of burnout. (These are in no particular order because they are all important and some might work better than others depending on the individual.)
- Identify your “WHY?” You became a teacher for a reason! Remind yourself why you were “called” to do this work because you WERE! Download our printable!
- Never stop learning. Value your professional development and actively seek it out.
- Stay solutions focused. While it is important to accurately identify a problem, don’t dwell on it too long. Find a way around it or maybe even through it.
- Keep the children at the center and do whatever it takes to help them be successful! No explanation necessary for this one!
- Develop a support system. This might include a mentor, a best friend at work or teachers who have the same values as you. Make sure they support you emotionally and intellectually. Also, develop solid relationships and trust with your administrators as they can also be a significant source of support!
- Avoid Groundhog Day! Don’t do the same things over and over again. Find new ways to deliver content. Be open to innovative ideas. You never know what might resonate with students.
- Know when to say NO and when to say YES! We can’t do it all, so have your “no” statement ready for when you are asked to help with an initiative you just can’t take on. When you do say “yes,” make sure you are saying “yes” to something that fills you up and aligns with your skills and passion.
- Rest, sleep, NAP! Yes, I said nap. Unplug, take a break or maybe even a vacation!
- Become more self-aware. You must know yourself to identify the warning signs of burnout and the strategies that work for you when you are struggling. What brings you down? What lifts you up? What drives you?
- Eradicate fluff (which is the “extra” unnecessary work you do.) Take a step back and determine what works best to help students (and you) reach goals. If you are doing things that aren’t helpful or necessary, STOP!
I could go on and on, but I bet you have some of your own thoughts. Please tell us below what works for you! It might work for others!
While teacher burnout is widespread and impactful, we can work to reduce it through building our own resilience.
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