How to Avoid a Burn Out
I recently had a conversation with a colleague about how teachers can emotionally, yet unintentionally, impact children.
“I had a history teacher once, and I was in the top set. She was miserable every day, and slowly but surely, I began to hate history lessons. I got a D in History that year, and worst yet: lost my love for the subject all together.”
It is no question that teachers have their work cut out for them. With budget cuts to work around, declining resources, extended hours, full classes and minimal support, it’s no wonder teachers are at an all-time high risk of burn out!
Children are heavily influenced by any form of energy given to them, whether it be positive, or negative. With this in mind, it’s incredibly important for teachers to be mindful with their actions, and intentions, at all times. From the moment you enter your school, it is your responsibility to approach each lesson with a positive, helpful, understanding and passionate mindset.
Fall short on any of these qualities, and your pupils will more than likely become receptive to your current emotion. This is dangerous, because it can subliminally lead to an interruption in their progress – as, we have mentioned before, children are very impressionable.
So, how can you make sure that in the height of your stress, you don’t inadvertently pass your emotional baggage onto your pupils?
Here’s three handy tips to avoid that emotional burn out and handle it appropriately, and discretely, if you feel it creeping into your professional space!
1. Detach yourself
From the moment you enter your space of work, it is vital that you direct 100% of your focus to your job. Leave your baggage on the other side of the school’s doors. Learning the mastery of detachment is a very powerful skill, but can be difficult if you don’t know where to start. If you’re like most teachers, and you don’t have a background that includes extensive theatrical training, here’s a resource for learning how to detach yourself safely, so you can give your pupils the energy and attention that they deserve.
2. Remember your purpose
You are a teacher. You are inspiring the next generation. You are impressionable, so make sure you use that impact positively. Practicing mindfulness through meditation can help you remember your purpose as a teacher. If mindfulness and meditation is a new concept for you, here’s a list of The Independents “top 8 mindfulness apps” for 2019. Try building this practice into your daily routine, by arriving early for work and taking 5 minutes to meditate prior to beginning your lessons.
3. Focus on the outcome
On any given day, in any given class, the only thing you should be focusing on is the future of your pupils. How will you ensure that every pupil is receiving the support and energy that they need to fall in love with the subject you are instructing? How will you measure their success? How can you motivate pupils who need extra attention? Put emphasis on the outcome and you will have an easier time maintaining your focus throughout your lessons. If you don’t know where you are going, you can’t expect your pupils to?
Bonus tip: Knowing when you need to take a break, for your physical and mental health, is imperative. It is not uncommon to be feeling overwhelmed and on the verge of a burn out because you have taken too much on. Remember that money is never more important than your mental, or physical health, and that in these times: taking a night, or day, off to rest and recover can be your best serving long term solution. However, sometimes, time off is not an option, and these feelings are simply out of your control. In these times, it is our hopes that the tips above can help you manage your stress levels, and provide you with the tools you need to deliver OUTSTANDING lessons at all times.
As we always say at Teach Major, a happy teacher = happy children. Every teacher holds the power to positively influence their pupils, and allow for all children to enjoy all subjects at school.
Remember, their future is in your hands!