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5 Ways to Avoid Teacher Burnout

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  • Tags:
  • mental health
  • teacher wellbeing
  • teacher burnout
  • mental health and wellbeing in schools

As ever, student progress is an absolute priority. As ever, we commonly hear teachers brushing off taxing days or 50+ hour working weeks with an “Oh, it’s fine” or a “nearly the weekend!” The reality is, teacher burnout was a huge issue for schools before the pandemic, and it is a huge issue now. This week, we think about how to avoid teacher burnout during the spring term.

A Difficult Year

Having an open culture in school is really important for wellbeing. However, a recent study told us that only 10% of staff in education turned to their line manager or a member of SLT for support in 2020. This was a year that was certainly not easy for teachers. What can schools do to address this?

In contrast – and, as featured in a previous interview with one of our teachers – many teachers were thankful for the opportunity to be able to work almost as normal during the pandemic; There is a real sense of satisfaction in being a key worker, in giving something back and being able to keep the education of the country’s children going.

This feeling will sustain many for the time being as we head towards summer. However, it is vital that education staff and school leaders are planning ahead to support wellbeing.

ways to avoid teacher burnout

Other Helpful Blogs:

Finding behaviour management extra tough since returning to school? We hear you.

Is keeping on top of your classroom organisation keeping you up at night? We’ve got you.

And for now, read below for our latest advice for looking after yourself:

Five Ways to Avoid Teacher Burnout:

Work on your worries

Take a moment to make a list and add possible solutions if you think you have specific things that are making you anxious or worried. Writing things down can help identify simple solutions such as: “ask x for support”. Once you’ve admitted it and identified it, you can then action it. Please don’t forget that Prospero’s Training & Development Team are here to help you with anything teaching-wise via e-mail or over the phone.

Eat healthily

Lockdown may have resulted in an increase in comfort eating for many: feeling down, being drawn to sugar and junk food to help us feel better. It time to leave those habits in the past – Make sure you’re eating a good, varied diet with things like nuts, fruit and veg, dairy, pulses and grains. Overnight oats with fruit and nuts is a really quick win before heading in to school. Too many teachers are skipping breakfast at the moment… What we put in our bodies makes a massive difference so treat it like school and get organised: plan meals in advance to prepare for the week.

Spend time outside

It’s true, we’re lucky at the moment – it’s not getting dark for ages! But, it’s still really important we make the most of this. As lockdown eases, you don’t want to feel like everyone is out enjoying some freedom, whilst you are stuck in the classroom marking! With one eye on the weather, plan in the evening(s) when you can head out a little early and spend some time outdoors. With restrictions still in place, we know it’s not all that easy to see friends and family. So why not use this as an excuse to plan a team picnic or go for a coffee walk with a colleague? Avoid teacher burnout as a team!

Read for pleasure

Make sure you don’t only turn to Netflix for entertainment: reading is a proven strategy for reducing stress. It can feel harder to find the will to pick up your book when you spend a lot of your day getting children reading for work. But reading for pleasure has both health benefits and burying yourself in a book of your choice is a great way to occupy your mind healthily. Rediscover your love of reading.

Surround yourself with support

This is extra hard at the moment. It’s too easy to say, “I’ll get back on track socially once restrictions are fully eased” or, “Oh no, x has a lot on her plate, I don’t want to bother her…” Find someone to talk to – a family member, a friend or a trusted colleague. With the year we have all had, many of your friends and peers may well be having similar feelings. It could be the perfect time to team up with a friend to support each other.

teaching support

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We hope you enjoyed reading our behaviour tips for the return to school. Our specialist consultants are always delighted to hear from you – please get in touch at training@prosperoteaching.com if you have any comments or questions on protecting your teacher voice.

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