We’ve spent a lot of time talking about student engagement and motivation for learning in the past few weeks which got me thinking…what about teachers?
Teachers need to be just as intentional in measuring their engagement and motivation to teach throughout the year. October can be a meaningful time to do this reflection because you have a fair amount of context and information for the school year ahead of you, and you have enough time to make any changes that you need in order to end Fall Semester on a strong note.
Teacher burnout can be a difficult thing to talk about because we feel like admitting we’re struggling to show up the way we want to sounds like we’re saying we no longer care about our students or we’re not strong enough to make it.
But educators who have been in the field for a while know that neither of those have to be true for burnout to occur. We are doing some of the most challenging and high-stakes work there is. Losing some steam doesn’t mean we are failures but we certainly fail ourselves when we don’t do the work of trying to address it.
So here are some small steps that in collaboration can have a big positive effect:
- Set Manageable Goals: work on this independently, with your coach, or even school team. Set those goals, track those goals, and let yourself celebrate the wins.
- Bring things you enjoy into the fold: add a few things that make you happy to your classroom decor, teach a mini-lesson around a subject you find meaningful, connect with another teacher who shares your interests
- Read for pleasure: physical books, kindle, or audiobooks- whatever your style, give yourself the gift of a brief escape. even if its just an hour a day.
- Journal and meditate: it can be easy to want to bury the tough days and the hard stuff, but things will be so much better if you allow yourself space to process and learn from them. Journal about the good stuff too so you can go back to it and re-read on those tough days.
- Attend a professional development you’re excited about: build up your community, your skill, and your passion for the work.
- Use a few rest days: your sick and personal days are there for a reason. Listen to your body and take the time you need when you need. Get those sub plans mad up in advance.
- Share your accomplishments: ever feel like no one is there to witness your strong days? Talk about them. Share with your friends or on the ATC page. Shout out yourself! Let the world see just a tiny bit of the hours and effort you put in.
- Rework routines that don’t serve you: in your personal life and in the classroom. It’s okay to admit that something isn’t working well and try to adjust. If you need support in this, don’t be afraid to reach out.
All the best in your individual journeys,