Teacher Burnout: 20 Insights From a 17-Year Veteran Teacher On The Brink of Burnout

298417_the_thinkerIn rereading the last about teacher burnout, I was struck by a handful of things that my reader mentioned in the email. I thought it was powerful enough that it was worth digging into deeper, and yet I didn’t want to dilute the conversation that might come as a result of the emotional impact of the reader’s email.

With that being said, here are 20 insights from a 17-year veteran teacher about things that teachers ought to be doing.

  1. Take care of your body
  2. Avoid whiners
  3. Get more sleep
  4. Accept imperfection from yourself
  5. Don’t expect to make everyone happy
  6. Don’t abuse your sick days, but do use them
  7. Relax more
  8. Have trusted friends who can smack you upside the head when needed
  9. Be sure you have long term disability insurance in place before you need it
  10. Have some sort of adequate health insurance
  11. Don’t waste time worrying
  12. If you’re single, take some risks
  13. Always have a backup career plan for if things don’t work out
  14. Don’t be too proud to seek advice from others
  15. Sometimes writing things out is among the best therapy
  16. The logical solution is often the best, but not always
  17. Don’t make monumental life decisions in periods of emotional distress
  18. Don’t let Christmas, spring break, and summer be your only down time
  19. Have patience with yourself and others
  20. Not every situation in life requires an immediate diagnosis and prescription
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 Teacher Burnout: 20 Insights From a 17-Year Veteran Teacher On The Brink of Burnout

  1. Wow. What an awesome list. #18 really hit home with me: Don’t let Christmas, spring break, and summer be your only down time. I’m still trying to unwind from the school year and I’ve been off for three weeks! I was using my weekends and evenings to gear up for the following day/week instead of what they should be for: me time and family time. This tells me I should probably take a closer look at the rest of the list and make sure I am doing the other things!

  2. I remember reading somewhere—or being told by my mother, a teacher—that the determining factor between whether or not a teacher made it past the 5-year mark was “Do you have a hobby or passion outside of teaching?”

  3. I suppose that since I became intensely uncomfortable at the first half (in particular) of this list, I need to really evaluate some things.

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