Do people ever ask you what you are complaining about as a teacher because you get summers and holidays off? Do those types of questions and assumptions tend to annoy you? Many people still assume teaching is an easy job and forget the long hours teachers must spend after they go home grading, planning, and not to mention, training to stay up to date in their professions.
All of these extra hours not only often go unnoticed by others, but they can also lead to teacher burnout. Worried you might be feeling a bit exhausted and overwhelmed as a teacher, and not sure what to do? Read on, and you will be presented with some common causes and solutions.
For a while, you may have felt like you were able to handle it all, Then, suddenly, “all” of it starts to get overwhelming and exhausting. On top of all you already do, you have to learn a few no types of technology within a mere matter of weeks. Then, report cards are due. Some of the parents you may have met with in conferences are upset with you and your standards, and your motivation takes a turn for the worse.
In fact, teaching is so stressful that about thirty percent of new teachers leave the profession in the first five years. Increased demands on teachers cause them to spend more and more time on their jobs while their pay has not changed. Some are badly supported by administration and feel they have no place to turn.
Causes of Burnout
One of the biggest causes of burnout has to do with a teacher’s thought process. Many teachers believe they have to do it all and are not able to do the constantly new and changing parts of their job well. Even people who have taught for many years sometimes feel the weight of this stress, often because teachers are asked to do more than is humanly possible. Classes are larger than ever before, and teachers are being asked to cram more and more material into class periods that cannot possibly be enough time for the students to learn the tasks effectively.
New Initiatives are another problem factor for teachers experiencing burnout. There are almost always new initiatives introduced yearly, if not monthly, and these innovative concepts can wear down teachers if they are constantly being asked to change things, especially if they have found other patterns that work better with their students.
There is Help
There is help if you feel you are starting to get overwhelmed. Some teachers have reported that counseling with learned cognitive techniques to help them through tough periods can make their negative thinking more positive. It is important, therefore, for teachers to practice what is known as positive “self-talk.” There are plenty of books out there that can help you with this, but if you cannot learn how to do it yourself, therapy can assist you.
Teachers should also attempt to make friends with another teacher on the same staff they can confide in. Venting helps to ease the load a bit, and can release undue amounts of stress. It is even better if you can vent to somebody that can empathize with you.
And now and then, don’t be afraid to take a personal day just to start rethinking things, and to rest up a bit. Personal days are there for you to recuperate, and it is better to use them to help alleviate stress than to save them and let the stress build.
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