The profession of a teacher is more than a job position that joins professionals who enjoy working hard and seek ways to improve the situation. These traits often leave the time of teachers for rest, personal needs, and recharging, which leads to such occurrences as teacher burnout which may lead to a complete collapse and even the need to choose another career path.
This article explains the meaning of this term and offers ways out of this state.
Teacher burnout: definition, signs, and statistics
Teaching is one of the most rewarding yet arduous career paths. The scope of work is creating lesson plans, developing skills from professional writing to the ability to communicate with others, adhering to the grading system, and maintaining a healthy atmosphere among students. Based on observations from writemypaperbro.com, the failure of this chain of responsibilities frequently leads to the state called teacher burnout: the chronic condition of emotional and physical exhaustion, social detachment, a sensation of personal feebleness, and lack of accomplishment.
The warning signs of teacher burnout include:
- indifference to the students and classroom management;
- regular failing the lesson plans;
- negative attitude and loathing to the studying process and people involved;
- absence of companionship with other colleagues;
- getting bored and tired of the teaching job (typical for veteran educators);
- irritating attitude to students and their complications;
- anxious feeling about each new working day;
- constant feeling of overloading even doing regular duties.
According to the studies, the most frequently sustained sensations of burnout in teachers are anxiety, fearfulness, perplexing, and despondence. The statistics are horrifying:
- about 500 000 teachers change their career path each year, which costs the American government up to $2.2 billion per year;
- 17 percent of pedagogues abandon their practices within the first five years;
- Two-thirds of educators do not reach the retirement age.
The negative impact of these facts is poor achievements of the students and weak level of preparation of the future professionals. Using the statistics on teacher burnout and the feedback of those educators who experience similar complications, it is appropriate to implement the strategies that will help overcome the stressful state and return to teaching work.
Efficient preventive measurement
Here is the list of the most effective methods on how to prevent teacher burnout, overcome it and reduce the risk of its reoccurrence:
- The resources of mental health. Managing stress via seminars and meetings is an effective method for creating and maintaining a healthy balance between work and life. Also, releasing teachers from extra work on weekends and during the evening is necessary. Rest plays a crucial role in restoring the brain cells and increasing the quality of work.
- Teamwork building. Cooperation is a purposeful practice aimed to support teachers and share their experiences. Teachers working within a similar discipline can divide their responsibilities, for instance, creating together lesson plans, homework, and assignments which significantly diminishes educator burnout. Among that, a positive atmosphere among colleagues and general socialization leads to the success of the teaching group.
- Let teachers speak. Feedback is a powerful tool to correct the work and guide it effectively in the future. On the opposite, ignoring teachers’ opinions forms a complex issue that is complicated to solve later. Due to the close contact of teachers with students and their relatives, nobody but educators know the nuances. Therefore, teachers must participate in making meaningful decisions at studying establishments.
- Respect for professionalism. The teaching profession is not less important than medicine, engineering, and many other disciplines. Diminishing its role and neglecting the importance of such skills like classroom management leads to the feeling of insignificance in teachers and low quality of their work subsequently. Teachers crave some freedom in their professional activities. Allowing them to implement personal approaches, suggest the most appropriate studying materials, and trust in their qualification are efficient methods of teaching practices. However, freedom must have borders regulated by the law and moral principles.
- Mentorship programs implementation. Specialists who have just started their careers need the support the most. Thanks to the progress of Internet technologies, e.g., Zoom and Skype, meeting with mentors have never been so easy. Mentorship is an excellent opportunity to have face-to-face interactions with skilled representatives to encourage professional development. It significantly diminishes worries of the young staff about the school year and serves as a teacher burnout prevention.
- Focus on the peculiarity of feedback. Examine the opinions of teachers for a constructive evaluation. That will help to determine what the teachers do poorly exactly? What are methods to improve this situation in the future? Also, feedback helps determine the leader who does the work the most successfully and ask this person for advice or give a mentorship position to increase the skills in less-skilled teachers. Unlike unhelpful criticism, constructive feedback helps to find ways of improvement. It aims to encourage the staff members who make systematic mistakes.
- Turn the studying routine into entertainment. A positive mood opens numerous opportunities to have fun. Out-of-school meetings (e.g., thematic parties, sports activities) raise the team spirit and give a gulp of fresh air, reduce stress, and create a positive atmosphere in the collective.
These measures will help avoid teacher burnout and control the situation between the educators, providing teachers enough support and ensuring that they are not left alone with their problems.
Career opportunities for burned-out teachers
It happens when a teacher leaves their profession due to various solid reasons. If you tried all measurements described above, but nothing helps, it is a reason to consider other career opportunities. A teaching degree combined with the gained skills is a perfect set of talents. These make burned teachers excellent candidates in numerous kinds of second careers.
The search for further career development is uneasy and can take plenty of time. Before diving into sending CVs, analyze what you have disliked and enjoyed the most in your teaching career. The answers will help you to generate the next steps. The skills of the former teachers are valuable in different professional fields. Consider one of the following career options for burned-out teachers:
- Human resource manager: knowing how to succeed and guide people in the professional direction is helpful. However, it often requires additional business education;
- Manager: if you are an excellent planner, organizer, pay precise attention to details, pay attention to this position (you may need additional business administration training);
- Financial advisor: advisor: a perfect option for ex-teachers at math. Knowing how to deal with figures is the most necessary skill. Combining it with helping others achieve financial goals will make you a genuine specialist. Following this path, be ready to prepare to study financial planning;
- Writer and editor: these professions are always in demand for business and non-profit organizations. Various schedules, e.g., part of the office team or freelancer with a convenient timetable, provide an opportunity to organize your life the way you want and choose the best customers;
- Event planner: having the talent to organize lessons, projects, trips, and other leisure activities is an idea to move on in this direction. Help others to have fun and make their dreams come true;
- Social worker: teachers deal with children and families most of the time, which is the core skill of a social worker. Being compassionate to people can significantly impact the lives of those who need it the most;
- Medical assistant: excellent organizational skills and talent to communicate with people can make you suitable for this professional activity. Be ready to get the licenses and additional training for each position specifically.
Failures in a teaching career are not the end of life. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages, consider if you have enough energy to get additional studying for further career development, and choose the most attractive life path for you.