Tuesday, April 2, 2019


Although developing a positive outlook and turning problems into opportunities are effective tools in the battle against burnout, they are not enough to stop the cycle of self-defeat. To avoid the damage that burnout can cause, you also need to be proactive; you must prevent the buildup of the small stresses that eventually lead to distress and burnout. Consider some of the following strategies when you create a proactive plan to prevent toxic stress from consuming your life.

·        Place great value on your personal time. Working long hours every day is a sure path to burnout. You need time to just be yourself. School will always be there.

·        Allow yourself time to make effective transitions from one class to another. This is particularly difficult when you have many classes each day. One way to manage this is by having an opening routine that your students can do independently. This will free you to make the mental, emotional, and physical switch from one group of students to another.

·        Keep a flexible attitude. Get into the habit of looking for solutions instead of dwelling on your problems. If you are open to alternatives, you will be able to assess your options much more quickly.

·        Everyone benefits when you delegate responsibilities. Decide who you want to do a task, clearly explain how you want it accomplished, and then step back and allow the people you selected to get busy.

·        Plan ahead. When you know that you are approaching a tough time at school, find opportunities to prevent or solve problems and not just suffer through them.     

·        Take good care of yourself. Teachers tend to be nurturing people who focus on
the needs of others. But to succeed in taking care of others, you must take care of your own needs. Allow yourself time to rest, relax, have fun, exercise, eat well, socialize and enjoy life.

·        Slow down. Stop rushing from one responsibility to the next. Here are some ways to slow your life down: take time to eat lunch, allow yourself at least ten minutes to relax with colleagues at some point during your day, and use a journal for reflection.

·        Put some fun in your instruction. Plan activities that you and your students can look forward to. Few teachers experience burnout while they are having fun.

·        Pace the intensity of the work. Learn to plan your instruction to allow for some less arduous teaching periods. For example, you should not be “on” day after day. Instead, allow your students time for independent work, small group work, or even activities such as viewing films related to the subject under study. Being “on” all the time will quickly exhaust you.

·        Add structure to your life. Routines will prevent many stress-inducing problems.

·        Start to put together a network of supportive and positive people who can help you. Being connected to others is an important way to avoid the stress that can make every day miserable.

·        Take command of as much of your school life as you possibly can. Establish realistic long-term and short-term goals for yourself and then strive to achieve them.

·        Think before you act. If you plan your responses to unpleasant situations you will prevent many problems. Situations that you should think about before you act include dealing with incomplete homework assignments, angry parents, defiant students, cheating incidents, tardy students, and other frequent classroom disruptions.