Teachers dedicate so much time and love to the profession. I know that’s why it is such a personal job because of the relationships we get to build with students and the blood, sweat, and tears put into making learning fun for them. My first year teaching I lived at school. I now know that doesn’t equate into being a great teacher. Learning how to balance and manage my time/ personal life is something I still struggle with. I now know that a rested teacher leading lessons will always guide and manage the classroom better than a drained teacher. If you are a teacher I’m sure you know exactly what I mean. My second year teaching we had our first child. I big hurdle into life because now I would have to figure out how to balance school life and my new amazing job as a mom. The beginning was so rocky and very difficult.
I’m very thankful for the administration and team I have. They have helped me grow so much as an educator. I definitely have learned a few things to avoid that burnout feeling that I’d like to share:
1. Build a tribe that helps build a positive outlook.
In a field where you have to balance a hundred things being thrown at you it so important to find a supportive person who you can talk to. Not only is collaborating going to make your ideas better, but sometimes you just need to BREATHE. Every teacher has the moments where they are thinking “Did this really happen?” and having someone with more experience or who understands teaching listen to you really takes the burden of having to figure everything out. If you communicate with another teacher in a positive manner and turn everything into a positive your day to day starts to change.
2. Class Meetings/ Community Building
I’ve always wondered, when do we have the time to teach kids how to respect and love one another. With everything the students should develop it seems so difficult to squeeze this time in. I’ve learned to schedule this time into our daily schedule. This has helped my students’ behavior and relationships TREMENDOUSLY! Carving out the time to talk and practice social skills goes a long way. Not only that but it gives an opportunity to play community games, appreciate each other, and have time for acts of kindness.
3. Spend time with loved ones
One mistake I made as a new teacher, and am sometimes guilty of is thinking weekdays are for and school work. Take the time to do something fun during the week to release the stress. Invite your friends out, go for a run on the beach, anything but school related things. Seems so simple but as a new teacher it was difficult for me to do.
I make a To-Do list and tackle things that need to be done immediately first. After I do at least three I head home for the day. Doing this has helped my school vs home time a lot as I look forward to going home to my baby. Spending time with your dog/family/TV is equally important to avoid burnout.
5. Include lesson plans driven by fun!
With today’s standards and curriculum I can get lost on worrying about what my students need and forgetting about they may WANT. I know.. needs vs. wants 😉 I began planning with what my kids have been talking about instead of what do the standards say (We have to get to that anyways.) If my kids have singing the same song over and over in class.. I take that song and turn into our addition song or sometimes make up a song using the beat to get them to line up. If my kids keep talking about the computer came with race cars I make sure to make a lesson using race cars. We get told to this over and over but I forget with my concern of making it standards based. Doing this has definitely affected my attitude day-to-day and made me into a much happier teacher!
I included picture of my munchkin because playing with her is the key for me. I can’t wait to learn your ways of avoiding teacher burnout.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
— Joshua 1:9