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Signs of Teacher Burnout- and what to do

There is no doubt, that as we approach the end of term, everyone is feeling very tired.  It’s questionable though whether the tiredness is healthy or whether some individuals are actually about to burnout.

Orla c burnout

Burnout- signs to look out for:

  1. Resistance to wanting to teach
  2. Feeling more irritable or impatient than usual
  3. Always feeling tired
  4. Lack of creativity or inspiration
  5. You feel somewhat scattered
  6. Experiencing frequent insomnia
  7. Feel like something is missing
  8. Change in eating habits
  9. Lack of desire to create or be innovative

Step 1 Understand that rest does not just mean sleep.  Be aware of active and passive rest.

  • Passive rest is something we need after a tiring day and is essential in avoiding burnout.  This could be a few minutes of gardening, looking at the birds, lying on your bed, sewing or relaxing with a loved one.  When we are exhausted we tend to want to watch TV or eat comfort food, but these activities won’t nurture our body in the long run.  Know that it’s ok to take the time to rest passively.
  • Active rest is what we can to do for fun.  It is the best way to re-energise.  Engage in fun, enjoyable and stimulating activities.  If your are in a restricted area then try a new online class. Try to reconnect with your inner child- sing, paint or do some gardening.

Step 2 Strategies to overcome burnout:

  • Ask yourself what you are busy with outside and inside of work?
  • Ensure you are getting enough sleep and make sleep a priority.
  • Practice self-care and ensure that each week you make time to go for a walk in nature, eat nourishing meals, meditate and read inspiring books.
  • Understand that rest does not just mean sleep.
  • Put your legs up the wall for ten minutes.
  • Put your phone on aeroplane mode for a couple of hours.
  • Learn to say no when needed and set boundaries.

Overall, if you try these and you are still tired and fatigued, it may be best to seek medical advice. Take the time to reflect and journal.   Listen to the voice within and get clear on the reasons why you are in the career that you are. Reflection is important to remember your desires and dreams.

One Reply to “Signs of Teacher Burnout- and what to do”

  1. Emily says:

    Yeah, this is the problem! Especially when you are balancing between work and home. I guess the main point here to admit the problem, make a pause, and have a rest to return to teaching full of energy!

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The author

Orla is currently working as an English Teacher and conducting remote online learning sessions. She has experience with the US, UK and UAE national curriculum having worked in the UAE, UK, Italy and Kuwait. For the past 8 years Orla has enjoyed working as a teacher and has focused her efforts on developing strategies for EAL learners. She has undergone various training courses in ESL summer camps in Italy and the UK and it is here she developed effective teaching methods for EAL learners. She spent a short time training teachers in Austria for their TESOL qualification as well as visiting Austrian schools and advising them on new and emerging methods through interactive workshops. She graduated from Queens University Belfast with a 2.1 in her Bachelors, and in addition to this she gained her CELTA qualification so that she could specialise in EAL methods. She enjoyed it so much that she completed her PGCE in PCET through Edge Hill University. She is also a Cambridge Examiner for AS- Level Global Perspectives and it is through this position that she finds new and emerging themes to intertwine with her English teaching. She is highly skilled in the areas of student-centred teaching and utilises Humanistic approaches to teaching.

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