No matter the level of experience, teachers are susceptible to burnout – a phenomenon where they begin to question their place, purpose, and passion for teaching. This can be prevented, though. With the right tools and information, the warning signs of teacher burnout can be spotted and avoided.
The most common cause of burnout is a lack of adequate social support in a person’s general environment – the workplace, relationships with peers, family, and friends, including personal needs.
When teachers experience this syndrome, it hampers their ability to deal with their work’s daily challenges. The more exposed they are to poorly-managed emotional and interpersonal job stress, the more their energy depletes increasing mental distance from their job, and ultimately feelings of negativism.
The National Library of Science presents these determinants of burnout among teachers.
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The Warning Signs of Teacher Burnout
Usually, the frustration of a teacher stems from an overwhelming feeling of not being able to introduce change in the classroom. That feeling about knowing what needs to be done yet nothing is being done. The frustration is not about students but the teacher’s feeling of dismay toward oneself.
Do you already lose your temper or give up things easily?
Do you find yourself grabbing or handing items with force?
Do you look sternly at others as if they did you wrong?
Do you feel yourself having tantrums?
A teacher’s job extends beyond teaching. Most of them sacrifice their free time, including lunch breaks and personal time to get more work done. This sacrifice has come to a point where it becomes detrimental and the heavy load of work is haunting the teacher.
Because of the heavy amount of workload and very unpredictable everyday schedule, this takes a heavy toll not only on the physical but on the emotional part of a teacher’s life. By having extended work hours, they have less time to take care of themselves eventually leading to burnout.
Do you feel like getting headaches almost the whole day?
Do you keep throwing deep sighs or tiredness?
Have you started getting lazy to make your own coffee?
Have you been moody with impaired judgment or decision-making?
Teaching might be the most important job in the world. A teacher gets to shape a whole new generation that is going to be the backbone of society. Being able to share your passion and help students find theirs is one of the most fulfilling emotions a teacher can feel.
You’re experiencing a lack of purpose in your life.
You’re constantly feeling empty or dissatisfied.
You feel disappointed with your relationship with others.
You find home tiring and want something else.
A teacher might misinterpret the feeling of being good enough to go for the day. However, this may be an indication of losing interest in being mindful of one’s look toward oneself and others.
You often feel hungry but don’t observe good eating habits.
You ignore your physical health and well-being.
Your hygiene makes you feel unpleasant about yourself.
Your choices of clothing are just to go by.
This in turn causes one to forget about taking care of oneself. Teachers should be provided the necessary resources and support to take care of themselves. Teachers with less self-care cannot bring their best selves to the classroom.
Halts Social Life
Poor social skills often lead to the feeling of being lonely. Because it invokes highly negative responses from others, then the more it feeds peer rejection and ultimately depression, aggression, and poor academic performance. Knowing that people are seeing this in you pushes you to remove yourself from their presence.
You call going out with friends a waste of time.
You are feeling dreaded associating with social activities.
You lose the interest to connect with others more intimately.
You have negative feelings, self-doubt, and people doubt.
Not only are teachers feel groggy during teaching but are unable to focus. When teachers don’t get the right amount of sleep each night, certain areas in their brains can suffer from less blood and struggles to perform than usual.
You are having problems with attention and memory.
You have been providing insufficient supervision and inferior instruction.
You feel sleepy, groggy, and floating in irritability.
You have a lack of alertness and are less likely to participate in daily activities.
Full of Negativities
Complaining is natural in a workplace, especially in the teaching industry where the job description varies every day. But thinking and speaking of worries could be an early sign of being burnt out. When one teacher is being negative, chances are it could spread to other teachers and can cause a massive decrease in productivity.
You tend to thrive on worry and discontentment.
You refuse to see the brighter side of life.
You keep complaining and are even seen whining.
You hate stepping out of your comfort zone.
Find out what you can do with burnout before it’s too late. Watch the video below.
Teachers need to have preventive measures to intercept any factors that can lead to burnout. If you suspect a burnout is about to devour, think that you’re not alone. Don’t give in. Instead, do everything you can to recover and gain a shift in balance.
There are stress management techniques you can indulge yourself in it. Prescription medication is an option. However, if you’re on the brink of a breakdown — seek professional help from a coach or therapist.
Do you have something to say about teacher burnout? Leave them in the comments.