13 Tips to Avoid Teacher Burnout

teacher burnout in a jarLet’s face it: Teacher burnout happens. Stay focused, fresh, and energized with these tips and strategies:

  1. Recognize the accomplishments and successes of other teachers. If you’re feeling unappreciated, they probably are, too. And remember: What goes around, comes around.
  2. Let students have input into classroom rules. This encourages buy-in, so they’re more likely to follow them. And you’re all more likely to enjoy your time in the classroom.
  3. Deflect peer bullying. If a teacher or an administrator unfairly criticizes or bullies you, use the same anti-bullying techniques you’d suggest to kids. Contact your union rep if needed.
  4. Make it a revolving student’s responsibility to write the next day’s schedule on the board. Students will enjoy the responsibility, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
  5. If you have to deliver hard-to-hear news to a parent, such as a failing student or a discipline problem, invite a colleague to sit in the meeting with you. This will help inhibit unpredictable behavior by the parent.
  6. Keep a daily record of students’ accomplishments, large and small. This will help refocus your attention on the things that are going right in your classroom.
  7. Find a mentor. There’s always a colleague who knows more, who’s been at the school longer, or who simply has great ideas. A mentor can help you plan lessons, problem solve, and stay positive.
  8. Let students choose their own writing topics. Nothing spells “burnout” more than 32 papers on the same subject.
  9. Try a flipped classroom. The benefits can be widespread and powerful, but some big ones are more engaged students, more personalized learning, and more one-on-one time with kids.
  10. Do peer observations. Ask if you can observe a colleague you admire; ask if a colleague will observe you, too. Both can help you learn to be a better teacher and keep things fresh.
  11. If you know of a student who has given up or seems without hope, gradually build a relationship with him or her. Say hi every day, ask how the student is doing, and find ways to be an ally. It will remind you of why you became a teacher.
  12. With other teachers, plan a weekly walking, running, or biking group. Or host a book club, roundtable idea exchange, coffee klatch, or happy hour. Socializing with other teachers helps keep perspective.
  13. Resolve not to be cynical! Break habits like compulsive knee-jerk administration criticizing and snarky-joke-making. Smile more. Say something nice to a cranky colleague or student.

Tips to Avoid Teacher Burnout In a JarFor more tips and strategies to stoke your passion for teaching, check out Tips to Avoid Teacher Burnout In a Jar®: Helping You Stay Focused, Fresh & Happy at Work.

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