3 Questions About Teacher Burnout

Burnout is more than having a bad day once or twice. It’s ongoing anxiety. It lends an undercurrent of stress to everything you do, and if you’re not careful, it could compromise your work and personal life.

What is Burnout?

If you teach and you’re constantly stressed to the point of physical and emotional exhaustion; if you’re becoming ineffective at your job, detached, even when you don’t want to be; if you lack that sense of accomplishment, you may be dealing with a bad case of burnout.

What are the symptoms?

Three significant symptoms indicate you may be suffering from teacher burnout. If you feel any of these, take steps to remedy the situation. Don’t let it worsen until the burnout takes over and leaves nothing of you behind.

  • Cynicism. You’re detached from everything that’s happening. You feel isolated.
  • Feelings of ineffectiveness. You’re irritated with everything. You aren’t productive, demonstrate poor performance, and find yourself drowning in hopelessness.
  • Physical and emotional exhaustion. You’re tired but can’t sleep, and you can’t concentrate.

What can help you recover?

  • Talk about it. You’d be surprised at how much it will lighten the emotional weight of your hopelessness, confusion, and isolation.
  • Read books. There’s so much to be said for sitting down with your thoughts and reading teacher burnout books that lay down practical strategies to help you. They won’t work right away. But they can help you gradually get yourself back into the world of the living again. Those books may teach you how to get out of your isolation.
  • Practice self-care. Take care of yourself better. Get enough sleep. Exercise. Eat healthily. Take a walk or play with your pets. Know when to take a break. Any of these activities can also have a positive impact on your disposition, burnout, and mental health.
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich
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