Teacher Burnout - Back to School Doesn’t Have to Mean Back to Stress

Teacher Burnout - Back to School Doesn’t Have to Mean Back to Stress

Teacher Burnout is A Real Problem

As the school year returns, some teachers dread even the thought of the classrooms. Many of them are wishing to themselves that they had the ability to slow down time, or stop it just long enough to avoid the new school year. 

We regularly exist in two worlds at the same time: the world in our heads (how we envision things should be) and the reality of the world and our lives. We tend to become exhausted, frustrated, and cynical as the gap between the two widens.

Teachers are frequently reporting feeling stressed on a daily basis in their work environment. Even more so, they are being expected to uphold academic standards established prior to the pandemic while also dealing with widespread student disengagement, ongoing mental health issues, and grave societal crises that affect the classroom. We need to do more than talk about relaxing and working harder to combat teacher burnout. Teachers require the resources needed to prevent and address burnout.

The Students Are Feeling It Too

When the pandemic began, most schools had little to no experience with remote education; they needed teacher training, suitable software, computers, and ubiquitous internet connection, and, in many cases, students lacked stability and a supportive adult at home to assist. According to Harvard University's Center for Education Policy Research, even students who spent the least amount of time of a month learning remotely during the 2020-21 school year will have still lost the equivalent of seven to ten weeks of math instruction.

According to research, high-poverty schools spent approximately 5.5 more weeks in remote teaching than low- and mid-poverty schools during the 2020-21 school year. In addition, researchers identified a "greater incidence of remote schooling among Black and Hispanic children."

Moreover, students in high-poverty schools that were isolated for the majority of the 2020-21 school year missed the equivalent of 22 weeks of in-person math instruction. That is more than half of a regular school year (roughly 36-40 weeks).

Ways You Can Help As A School Leader 

  1. Load Management
    It should come as no surprise that having additional obligations generates teacher burnout. This is particularly important for brand-new educators who might need more time to fully settle into their roles as teachers while still chaperoning, coaching, planning activities, or tutoring.

    The benefits of performing these activities will be outweighed by the eventual departure of overworked instructors, as is known to astute school administrators. Where can I relieve roles for my employees? is a good place to start. "Can I reduce the workload of these added obligations or enlist more parent volunteers?" Be less of a role enforcer and more of a role reducer.
  1. Accountability 
    Starting at the top of each institution and working our way down, accountability and standards have an impact on all of us. A system of accountability that places a lot of pressure on you as a school leader may make you feel powerless to change it.

    Effective leaders are aware that upping the pressure without upping the goal will just lead to more stress and exhaustion. However, leaders can also build a strong culture by leading with a purpose. You can achieve success with any policy you implement if it has a strong, defined, and applicable aim.
  1. Instructor Autonomy 
    How independent are your instructors? According to research, job happiness and autonomy are strongly linked. Professional educators desire authority over how they carry out their duties.

    Burnout intensifies the feeling of demoralization. When instructors believe they have little control, they may believe they are helpless to act in their students' best interests. In the most extreme cases, a lack of autonomy and a sense of moral violation can lead to burnout and abandonment in instructors. Remove blockers. Outstanding school administrators look for instances in which instructors feel less autonomy in order to promote a work environment to its highest level of success. 
  1. Invest in Mental Wellness Practices
    The negative effects of teacher burnout are substantial and if their mental health is not addressed they can't do their job properly. Communities will inevitably suffer from a compromised educational system. Many individuals may be unfamiliar with meditation and mindfulness techniques. It is essential to provide teachers with the tools to help introduce them to and or support them through their wellness journey

FocusCalm can help educators reach a more calm, concentrated state, which is very useful at work. The goal of FocusCalm is to retrain your brain to respond to possible stresses in a relaxed and focused manner through the use of meditation, neurofeedback calm games, and focus activities. You will have the tools to deal with job anxiety in a proactive, constructive manner with FocusCalm, even before the symptoms of burnout appear. Try FocusCalm Today!


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