Teacher burnout has become a massive challenge for many educational institutions. According to the National Education Association, 55% of the teachers surveyed are considering quitting their profession much earlier than planned. Over 600,000 teachers have already quit in the span of 2020 and 2021. Educational institutions must prepare to identify burnout and ensure teachers successfully create an inclusive, engaging learning experience
Recognizing the Signs of Teacher Burnout
Laurie Santos, a professor at Yale University and a cognitive scientist, says that burnout has three major symptoms.
Being Emotionally Exhausted
Emotional exhaustion is when a person feels exhausted and burned out even after a full night’s sleep.
Santos equates depersonalizing with feeling high levels of cynicism towards others. Individuals who are depersonalizing often feel annoyed at people requesting them to doing something that is part of their regular role. This frustration signals burnout.
Reduced Personal Efficacy
When an individual feels like she isn’t making a difference or she isn’t doing her job well, a sort of disenchantment sets in. To the individual, it may feel like they aren’t being effective at their work, and this is a sign of burnout.
How Teachers Can Reduce Burnout
Teacher burnout must be treated as a serious issue. Educational institutions and teachers should team up to ensure they don’t undergo burnout. Here are some ways to do that:
Don’t Ignore It
Organizations must have a system in place so teachers can seek the help they need to treat their burnout symptoms. A lot of teachers tend to ignore negative emotions in order to keep working, but this is the wrong approach. Just as screen time must be regulated for children
, teachers need to regulate their workloads. Instead of sweeping it under the rug, acknowledge it and treat it so you can bounce back higher.
Don’t Attach Your Identity to Your Job
Santos says that burnout is sometimes a result of being unable to separate your identity from your job. This is something that happens a lot with educators. A way to treat it is to spend off time with friends, engage in hobbies unrelated to your profession, or invest more energy in other life roles, like being a parent.
In the age of remote learning
, teachers and educators must be careful not to let their love of teaching hurt their physical and mental health. As a profession, teaching tends to take its toll. When you combine that with teacher shortages and cases of overwork, education becomes a high risk, high turnover industry.