You’ve made it to December, but it might feel like the rest of the year is hanging over you. Develop techniques to avoid midyear teacher fatigue and end-of-the-year burnout.
Though winter break is nice, many teachers find themselves still dragging on a daily basis after returning to school in January. By identifying teacher fatigue during the middle of the year, teachers can enjoy their careers more than ever and avoid burning out by the time June arrives.
1. Post Up
Start a positivity campaign by sharing uplifting messages around campus. Write positive messages and compliments on sticky notes, arrive early to school, and place them on bathroom mirrors in student and faculty bathrooms.
2. Get Back to It
Becoming immersed in students’ classroom experiences is easier when teaching from the back of the classroom and walking among students. This method will allow you to be more engaged and offer accessibility in the eyes of the students.
3. Put it in Writing
Before kids arrive to class, think about the day’s lesson plan and the goals that they should focus on. On the board, write a positive affirmation that relates to the lesson and will inspire them (and you!) to reach the goal for the day.
4. Say “Goodbye” to Clutter
Having clutter in the classroom could be overwhelming and generate stress that can contribute to teacher fatigue. Each month, declutter the classroom by spending a little extra time after school or arrive a bit earlier to clean your desk, organize the class library, and find a place for everything. It might take a little time, but you’ll feel better and each day will seem less overwhelming.
5. Say “Hello” to Students
Start each day with students by wishing them a “Good morning,” as they arrive to class. If your school requires teachers to meet students in the yard, or auditorium, walk down the line or aisle to every child and offer these simple, yet appreciated, words.
6. Teachers’ Night Out – or In
Organize a night off for a group of teachers you know well and invite some new faces who might be a bit quiet or new to the school. Choose a weekend or the night before a holiday during which school is closed. Invite everyone to bring a favorite dish or drink and enjoy the simple pleasure of each other’s company, which will help combat teacher fatigue through a fun, relaxing evening.
7. Host an In-school Recharge Session
Work with administrators to organize monthly workshops to recharge staff bodies and minds. Host sessions in yoga, mindfulness, and team building to combat teacher fatigue by working on personal improvement goals as a group. A school staff that is more relaxed and conscientious will be less likely to suffer from teacher fatigue, as faculty will arrive to the job with a more positive mindset.
8. Use Teacher Perks
Though Teacher Appreciation Week is usually held during early May, educators can enjoy discounts throughout the year if they remain aware and seek them out. Stores such as Office Depot, Joann Fabric, and Blick Art supplies offer discounts to teachers on a regular basis – not only during one week of the year. Avoid teacher fatigue by keeping more of the salary that you work so hard to make.
9. Become the Student
This advice never becomes old: start learning something new! Rather than seeking out a class that covers new skills or educational methods, do something that has always seemed awesome, but you’ve never tried. Fight teacher fatigue by having fun taking that ceramics, cooking, acting, archery, foreign language, or dance class.
10. Come Together for Positive Change
Share some of these reflective teaching techniques with colleagues to help other educators examine how they interact with students and faculty. Choose a time during lunch, or an hour after school, to discuss the issues that colleagues feel are contributing to their own experiences with teacher fatigue. Work together to develop solutions for the most common issues among faculty.
For these methods to be successful, teachers must apply these principles regularly, remaining committed to the practice. Through your efforts as one educator, you can combat your own teacher fatigue, while also affecting others around you by fortifying the mindset of colleagues.