Although it may seem like the school year just started, it is always a good idea to learn about the different ways you can prevent burnout before it happens or how to combat it when it does. Here are 20 ways to help prevent teacher burnout:
1. When you feel overwhelmed by the demands of school, use some of the excellent videos, films, and TV programs that will enrich your lesson plans and give you a momentary break.
2. Make use of seasonal activity sheets to jazz up routine lessons. Keep them as simple as math facts written inside of hearts for Valentine’s Day or pumpkins for Halloween.
3. Go to workshops. Perhaps your district will pay. But, even if you have to pay for them yourself, they are worth the money in terms of the new outlook and enthusiasm they engender.
4. Take some classes that get you credit on your district’s salary schedule.
5. Take some classes just for fun. Try some areas that have little or nothing to do with education or children. Exposure to almost anything will eventually pay off in the classroom, and you will have fun and meet new people.
6. Attend art gallery showings and bookstore signings. You will see that there are adults in the real world and get rid of that “trapped” feeling one gets from being too long in a classroom with thirty young children. Besides, they are free.
7. Incorporate more art in your lesson plans. It can be a real enrichment to your literature and social studies units, and besides, it gives everyone’s spirits a lift.
8. Learn a lot of new classroom games and play them. Don’t save them for special times; intersperse them throughout the day.
9. Have parties from time to time for no special reason other than to have fun.
10. Try acting the way you would like to be feeling. There is a psychology school of thought that holds that we begin to feel the way we act. Go around smiling and looking happy and enthusiastic and see if you start to feel that way. It is certainly worth a try.
11. Jump-start your helper system if it has started to fall apart on you. There are certain times of the year when parents get busy at home and begin to send regrets instead of coming in to help. Send home a note asking for assistance.
12. Spend some time re-bonding with your class. Things sometimes start to go sour halfway through the year.
13. Take a vacation. The next time there is a three-day weekend, go somewhere.
14. Consider having someone come in and clean your house or complete a longstanding household project. Even if it is just for one time, it will give you a wonderful new start.
15. Sit at a different table for lunch in your teachers’ room. Talk to someone new.
16. Take on a volunteer position for some charity that appeals to you. Doing something for other people often lifts one’s spirits tremendously.
17. Get a part-time job. Sometimes the change of pace (and the extra cash) is just what you need to prevent burnout.
18. Work through your lunch break and meet a friend after school for a late lunch at a restaurant.
19. Stop saying you are “going to school.” Say you are “going to work.” It’s a real job.
20. Read and implement everything you can find about self-esteem techniques.
Got a great tip for preventing teacher burnout? Share how you get re-energized by posting to our comment roll!