As significant as it is, the teaching profession isn’t a bed of roses for all who aspire to it. Becoming a successful teacher highly depends on individual motivation and formulated pathways that enable one to deal with the profession’s challenges.
For example, it can be hard to plan what to teach, how to deliver it, deal with student queries, search for teaching materials, and handle assignments simultaneously. On top of all of that, many teachers faced online teaching burnout during the pandemic.
Even considering all of this, it is undeniable that despite being a demanding profession, teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs one can ever do on planet earth.
It is commendable how you put your students’ interests before your personal interests. Being a teacher is indeed challenging, especially now when new trends are redefining the educational landscape at a rampant pace. Despite all that, you give your best to add value to your students’ lives, making you so much more special.
However, to keep doing that, you must also care for yourself. You would agree that you often find yourself on the verge of burnout as a teacher. In fact, high stress is one of the significant reasons why teaching the field of teaching has high turnover rates. The latest survey reveals that 52% of K-12 teachers and 35% of college and university teachers report feeling burned out.
Besides, the thriving culture of online teaching has also added to teachers’ stress. Sometimes, managing online teaching equipment in itself be a stressor. This is where you may get second thoughts about your profession. Do you think quitting is a better option than dealing with it? Why quit when you can effectively deal with the vulnerabilities of burnout?
Now the question is, how exactly can you keep yourself away from burnout? Well, that is exactly what this blog is about. In this blog, we highlight some actionable and effective ways in which you prevent teacher burnout. So, let us get started without further ado.
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Ways To Prevent Online Teaching Burnout
The following are ways that may help the online teacher battle burnout often associated with the profession:
1. Embrace The Challenges
The brain is a powerful organ capable of devising means to deal with and overcome challenges. However, it’s all in the mindset. The effects of the 2020 pandemic and the economic crisis are impacting lives worldwide, more so in the way people work. Teachers who weren’t more into online teaching might find it hard to adapt to the sudden changes in the education field.
Education is now becoming technologically driven, with more technologies like VR, AI, and learning apps becoming a must-use. Instead of resisting the change, it is essential to take into the power of cognitive flexibility. Apart from being new to technologies, some teachers find it difficult to manage student behavior and ensure engagement during virtual lessons. All this indeed increases stress and burnout.
However, despite all this, teachers can be better positioned to deal with stress when they embrace challenges. Choose to receive extra training to help you adapt to the new changes in the education sector. Understanding the type of tools you need to deliver online lessons and how to leverage them can help you set SMART Goals and, more so, work smarter. This way more is accomplished in less time, which helps prevent burnout.
2. Plan & Follow a Timetable
Planning is one of the most effective approaches to proper time management and task completion. Effective teaching highly depends on how good a teacher is when it comes to planning. Planning helps teachers align short and long-term goals as per the available time. Planning and sticking to a timetable also helps teachers to deliver lessons confidently and without panic.
In this way, it helps eliminate day-to-day stress and possible burnout in the future. On the other hand, crafting and following a timetable allows teachers to prioritize tasks as per urgency and importance. There is a range of tools today teachers can leverage to plan, ensure productivity, or even track student progress. These include; Google workspace, Loom, Dropbox, and Google Classroom, among others.
3. Set Boundaries
As much as you would want to be available for your students, it’s essential to establish boundaries that will offer you breathing space. If you’re fond of encroaching on your private time to handle student phone calls, then you should regulate yourself. As a teacher, you need time to think of how to re-invent your online classes, evaluate your teaching techniques or analyze loopholes in your teaching resources. Only an energized body and sound mind can do this or deliver lessons effectively.
With that, ensure to set boundaries by scheduling student help periods and drawing a clear line between them and your breaks. This will help you realize the areas in your life you’re neglecting or what you’re missing out on.
4. Follow a Self-Care Routine
I believe the term self-care isn’t new to any teacher, but there are a lot of misconceptions about the topic. Self-care doesn’t mean being selfish, but a way of maintaining your health and prioritizing your well-being. Many times we get lost in what we do, lose track of our lives, and before we know it, we are crushing; mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Selfcare is a way of maintaining a balance between your professional life and personal well-being. Today there are many self-care practices that teachers swear by for the difference they have in their lives and profession as a whole. Depending on the time available, you can choose to hang out with your friends, meditate, practice yoga, or listen to music as a way of re-finding yourself.
5. Find Time to Exercise
Regular physical exercise is associated with a range of benefits that promote a healthy body and enhance productivity. Sitting in front of a laptop for hours can affect a teacher’s physical health and eyesight. Taking time to exercise regularly promotes the release of a hormone called endorphins, increasing the feeling of positivity.
This hormone can help reduce stress, boost self-esteem and promote sleep. Research also shows that people who exercise regularly tend to live healthier and happier. They also have a reduced chance of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Adding physical exercise to the tried and tested self-improvement approaches will help you attain an all-around score.
6. Get Quality Sleep
Quality sleep is so essential for the next day’s productivity and mood. A good night‘s sleep helps us feel happier, motivated, and more focused. To elucidate, quality sleep allows the brain to revive itself. People who fail to get enough sleep normally find trouble recalling things, meeting daily targets, and have an increased risk of certain diseases like angina and heart attacks. More so, it makes it difficult for the body to cope with stress which later cultivates a way to burnout and depression.
With that, any teacher should ensure quality sleep every night, i.e., for at least 7 hours. You will be better positioned to maintain an upper hand in classroom management and mental well-being. As studies assert its astonishing benefits, listening to music is another consideration to incorporate into your routine.
7. Seek Professional Help
It’s quite unfortunate that many teachers don’t know when to seek professional help regarding their mental well-being. More commonly, some teachers aren’t aware that they are struggling with stress, burnout, or depression. However, when you realize prolonged episodes of sleep disorders, tiredness, and low productivity, this could indicate anxiety or burnout.
Talk to a friend about a possible way forward, and in case you fail to achieve the expected relief, then opt for professional mental health guidance. A prolonged feeling of being drained may also point to several mental and medical issues.
Just like other professions, the teaching profession also has its challenges. Dealing with misbehavior, grading, and handling student assignments daily can’t leave any teacher the same. With all the responsibilities that come with the job, there are higher chances of feeling burned out. However, you can leverage the most actionable tips here to cope with the stress and burnout, whether teaching online or in-person.
Author: Jessica Robinson
Jessica Robinson loves to write interesting and knowledgeable blogs regarding business management, education and life to satiate the curiosity of her lovely readers. Currently, she is serving as a content manager at the ‘Speaking Polymath’. Every piece of content that she writes demonstrates her immense love and passion for her profession.
I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.
I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!
I enjoy traveling, nature walks, and soaking up a new culture. Please share the posts if you find them helpful!