10 Tips for Avoiding Teacher Burnout – Cardinal Rule Press
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10 Tips for Avoiding Teacher Burnout

It's getting close to the end of the year which means you may be experiencing teacher burnout at an all time high level of the school year. The stress of making it to the end of the school year, finishing all of your curriculum, worrying about the progress your students are making, and maybe even state testing can all pile on you - making these last few weeks exhausting.

When it comes down to it, you want to try and avoid that teacher burnout as best as possible. Here are 10 strategies you can implement to help you prevent teacher burnout.

Tips for Avoiding Teacher Burnout

Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries can be anything from not checking your work email and messages outside of work hours, to only working contract hours as often as possible. We get it, things come up, meetings happen, school events are scheduled, but if you can help it, don't come in before you are supposed to, and don't stay any later than you are required to.

Find a Hobby

Having a hobby can be very effective. Not only is it good for your mental health to have something you enjoy doing, but it could be something that you look forward to each day. It can be as simple as reading, working out or even crocheting, or as complex as art, dance, and sports. Give yourself something to do on a regular basis that will help you keep your mind off of work.

Stay Healthy

I know it's hard to stay healthy when you work around kids and all of the classroom germs. But staying healthy  doesn't just mean your physical health, it means your mental health as well. Staying healthy means doing all the things - eating right, staying hydrated, taking your vitamins, exercising (even if it's just walking around your neighborhood), and getting a good night sleep. If you can stay healthy and well-rested, you won't feel as rundown throughout the year.

Take Vacations

Is it winter/spring/summer break yet? Thinking about planning a vacation during one of those times? Just do it. Even if it's a stay-cation at a local hotel or spa. Go somewhere with your family or friends. Create new memories. Truly enjoy your time off.

Visit With Your Colleagues

Have a free minute or two? Have a duty free lunch? I know most of that is unheard of, but when you have the time, go talk with your colleagues. Eat lunch with them. Laugh with them. They are the only ones who truly know what you are going through, so it's good to have their company.

Use Weekends for You

This goes hand in hand with setting boundaries. Take your weekends to spend time with your family and friends - like a mini vacation!

Recognize Your Strengths

It's easy to always pick out what you struggle with in your careers - what you think our weaknesses are. But just know that you are an amazing teacher! Remind yourself daily of the strengths you know you have (fun interactive lessons, building relationships, organization, etc.) and build on those strengths.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Making sure you are prepared ahead of time will not only help with your stress in the moment, but in the future as well. As long as your schedule allows, use your planning time to truly plan and prep so you can create those boundaries and stick to them.

Make Yourself a Priority

Two words - Self. Care. When you get home, make yourself a priority. Do you like to take a bath? Take a nice long relaxing bath. Do you love dancing? Dance around the house to some fun music. Do you meditate? Find a time every day to put on some meditative music and relax your mind. This will also keep you healthy in terms of your mental health and well-being.

Healthy Work Life Balance

All of the above strategies come together to show that it is so, so important to create a healthy work life balance. What happens at work stays at work, and what happens at home stays at home. It is easier said than done, but when you start to let one effect the other, your mental health and burnout will become a big struggle.

What are some of your favorite ways to destress and avoid teacher burnout? We'd love to hear your strategies in the comments below!

Stephanie DeLussey is a dual-certified veteran special education teacher, IEP Coach, children's book author, and teacher mentor. She has a passion for creating engaging, adapted resources for teachers and students with disabilities, and is self-proclaimed #datanerd. She understands that not everyone will love IEPs as much as she does, but it is her hope that with the appropriate training and resources, teachers will not only advocate harder for student services and supports, but also bridge the gap between teachers and families to foster a true IEP Team. She also provides professional development for teachers. You can connect with her at Mrs. D's Corner and The Intentional IEP.

As someone with severe anxiety and PTSD, Stephanie is also a mental health advocate who shares her journey with other educators, letting them know you can do more than survive as a teacher.

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