65 Things You Should Do Right Now To Avoid Teacher Burnout

1092230_burnoutThis past Tuesday, I took a day off of school. This is not normal for me, and I even had to fight my urge to go up to school and make sure things were running smoothly. I even drove up to the school and chose not to get out of the car.

Why? Because I had a chance where I knew I could relax for a day and things wouldn’t fall apart. I suppose it’s sort of a building process for me of letting go of my band.

I don’t like to miss school. I remember my parents encouraging me when I was in high school to miss a day when I didn’t fell well. I have been debating missing a day just to miss a day for over a month and finally bit the bullet. A friend says that her principal encourages the teachers to take a “mental health” day each month. I have nearly 50 sick days available and so I figure I’ll use some this year.

Taking off of work is a great trick to avoid burnout. We’ve all seen those teachers who show up to punch their time card, and then race the students out the door at 3:29. If we’re not careful, we too will turn into those teachers.

I’ve been doing some research lately and found a few articles that relate to job burnout.

Taking these articles and looking at some of their key points, I have compiled a list. Read the articles for more details:

65 Things You Should Do Right Now To Avoid Burnout

  1. Stop now! Not tomorrow, Not soon
  2. Make a list of the items that you do at work that you enjoy
  3. Make a list of the items that you dislike doing at work
  4. Spend a week or two doing only the tasks you enjoy
  5. Hand off some of the burdens
  6. Compress the periods where you do the things you don’t like
  7. If there are strong interpersonal issues and you work in a large organization, request a transfer to another area
  8. If the situation is truly untenable, work on preparing your resume to move on
  9. A job that makes your entire life miserable is not worth it, no matter what
  10. Get some help
  11. Reach out of yourself
  12. Hibernate, Sleep, Take a serious break
  13. Start a side job
  14. Choose a topic that you’re passionate about
  15. Set a realistic schedule
  16. Plan ahead
  17. Celebrate you accomplishments
  18. Have a long-term focus and avoid focusing on current problems
  19. Don’t spread yourself too thin
  20. Limit the time you spend on statistics
  21. Accept guest posts if you need more content than you can produce
  22. Build a network
  23. Use designated times for email
  24. Find things that motivate you
  25. Take a break
  26. Dump it all out
  27. Escape for a while
  28. Read a book
  29. Take a walk outside
  30. Set up a “busy schedule” and stick to it
  31. Schedule down time
  32. Squeeze in walks
  33. Avoid overwhelm by making lists
  34. Put your perfectionism on the shelf
  35. Get support
  36. Eat at least one meal a day with family or friends
  37. Set up accountability
  38. Build in consequences
  39. Eat right
  40. Set up email filters
  41. Turn off email and the phone for set hours
  42. Play hard
  43. Know your own “Relax” buttons
  44. Watch your estimations
  45. Lay down the law
  46. Prioritize by your core values
  47. Put intensive self-care as a top priority
  48. Practice the 3D Principle (Do it, Delegate it or Dump it)
  49. Learn to say no
  50. Learn to let go
  51. Avoid multi-tasking
  52. Slow down
  53. Ask who’s the boogey man?
  54. Listen!
  55. Ditch things that aren’t important but restore your dream fully
  56. If your dream cannot be restore fully. Look towards God for refinement
  57. Lastly, you need to have someone to talk to if you need to talk!
  58. Don’t lose sight of your principles
  59. Stretch yourself
  60. Be realistic
  61. Learn how to communicate effectively
  62. Manage your time
  63. Don’t blame yourself (or others)
  64. Enjoy the ride
  65. Read 25 Tips For Less Stress
About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

3 Comments on 65 Things You Should Do Right Now To Avoid Teacher Burnout

  1. What an awesome list! I have a hard time with #34 (perfectionism) and will work something to death to the point that it isn’t fun anymore. I also have trouble with #41 (emails and phone) and my husband is always telling me that they are luxuries and not necessities. Unless it is my parents (who are in their 80s), I shouldn’t have to feel like I need to answer it whenever it rings. I have gotten better at that, but it is hard. Thanks for the suggestions of some things to do.

  2. This is a great list. It seems that the list provided is common sense, but when you are in that mode of stress, nothing seems as common sense. “Be realistic”, I think is one that everyone needs to remember at all times. Not only can this list be applied to teaching, but to students as well.

  3. Yes. I am working on putting my 25 Tips For Less Stress together into an ebook with some added tips. I hope to have that finished by the end of this month. As I hear from more young teachers and those of us who were once young teachers, I realize that stress is one of the largest factors in quitting the teaching profession.

    Lingo_33 also brings up a great point about the validity of student stress. I wonder if I could work on putting together an Instant Destress Guide For Students also.

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