How to NOT Burnout in Teaching from the Start

by | Sep 10, 2018

By this week nearly everyone is back in the swing of things. The school bells are ringing, students are flooding the halls, and teachers are back to doing what they do best. In some ways it’s like riding a bike – you just hop back on and fall right into a rhythm. But, in other ways the start of the school year can be a time of stress (albeit mixed with excitement). Getting the classroom set up, preparing for back-to-school night, planning those first lessons, and attending all those meetings when you would rather be doing everything else. There’s learning new names and building relationships, adapting to the new schedule and figuring out when you can make a mad dash for the bathroom. And, the list goes on. There’s lots of good that comes with the start of a new school year, but there can also be a fair amount of stress. So, Joy in Teaching has prepared some tips to help you start the school year off right so that you don’t burnout before you even get warmed up.

Don’t stress the small stuff

There’s so much to do at the start of a school year, but honestly, if it doesn’t all get done the students will still come in and you will still teach. There’s comfort in the fact that the no matter how prepared or unprepared you feel the school year marches on. So, don’t sweat the small stuff. Trust in your own competency as a teacher. If you don’t have all the books stacked on the shelves or that bulletin board isn’t complete – it will be okay. If your gradebook isn’t set up or your class website isn’t redone – it will be okay. You know your stuff and you know what’s most important – the students, so focus on that. The rest will come. You have 180 days to make this year the best!

Check out this article on How to Cut the Back to School Teacher Stress

Stay Connected

When the going gets tough many of us (myself included) tend to bury our heads in the sand and work as hard as we can, as long as we can. Closing our classroom doors, staying late, coming in early, working through lunch – all of these things I am guilty of myself, and I know many of you are as well. However, immersing ourselves in school work to feel “ready” is a disservice to ourselves. The more connected we are the stronger our support system. By closing ourselves off from those around us (at school and at home) we are effectively making ourselves less resilient. And, in the future when things get really stressful it may be more difficult to lean on those around you when you have started the year off by closing them off.  So stay connected, take a break and walk to your neighboring teacher’s room, leave on time and share about your day (the good and bad) with your family and friends, and let yourself lean on others.

Check out this article on setting up your support system Community Within Community – Build Your Dream School Culture and the online Joy in Teaching Community in our Free Private Facebook Group


Optimize Your Time

As an educator time is NEVER on your side. Lack of time is one of the top stressors amongst teachers and if you look at a typical teacher’s schedule you’ll quickly understand why. The trick is learning as many time-saving tricks as possible to be efficient and effective with the time you have. If you haven’t yet picked up for FREE The Resilient Teacher’s Timesaving Guidebook, why wait? Within this mini-ebook you will find 10+ tips to GAIN time within the school day so you can focus on what matters and have energy left over. You’ll find tips like how to batch your work, what systems to set up in the classroom, and even how assessments impact our time.

Pick up your free copy of The Resilient Teacher’s Timesaving Guidebook

Play to your strengths

Nosce Te Ipsum is Latin for Know Thyself.
It is as true and powerful of a maxim now as it was when it was first uttered centuries ago. It speaks the value of self-knowledge and the importance of being a reflective citizen.

Teaching takes strength. However, teacher strength takes on different forms and within each lies its own form of resiliency. Each trait carries with it, its own power and struggles. Take the Joy in Teaching Quiz to discover your teacher strength. By taking stock of our own strengths within the field of education we can learn to rely on the traits and abilities that will help us the most to become more resilient educators Find out what your main strength is and then read through 10 types of resilient teachers and consider which traits make up your approach to teaching and learn how you can leverage these qualities to be a stronger and happier teacher.

Take the Joy in Teaching Quiz

Remember your purpose

Whether you are a teacher or administrator, you are who you are because you made a decision to enter education. And, there were reasons behind this decision.

Think back to why you started. By going back to why you started you can connect with those initial reasons of entering the profession and leverage your past inspiration to reclaim your joy. Take time to remind yourself of the reason you got into education. Why was it so important that you enter this profession? Chances are you had some lofty idealistic goals when you started out. There is no reason that those same goals shouldn’t still inspire you today. The difference is now you are making those goals happen.

Check out this article on purpose – Go Backward to move forward A Resiliency Strategy to Motivate Educators

Remember Who You Are

But the school year can do funny things to a teacher’s sense of self. We see ourselves as helpers, hope-givers, peacemakers, and kindness police. We take pride in how much of ourselves we give to our students. The identity of a teacher has become synonymous with selflessness. There are teachers who have opened their homes to their students, paid the way for their students, taken a bullet for their students. When you think about it, it’s not hard to see how a teacher could lose sight of themselves.

You can’t be the best teacher you can be if you lose sight of who you are. You know when you are at your best when you can give the most, and it’s not when you are also feeling depleted and stressed. As the saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup”.

Check out this article with many tips – The Message Every Teacher Needs to Start This School Year

Be an advocate for Teachers

It is a research-based fact teachers’ stress impacts more than just their professional lives. The multitude of stressors can take their toll on the personal lives of teachers, the success and well-being of students, and a school’s overall ability to meet the diverse needs of its students. Knowing this, it becomes clear why teacher resilience education has become an essential piece of professional development for many schools. If we can build teacher resilience, and curb these stressors, then we can not only hope to retain good teachers but also create a better more successful educational experience for all.

Teacher Resilience Education is training focused on giving teachers the tools to get the most joy out of their careers. If your school doesn’t prioritize teacher well-being and resilience then advocate for your profession.

One way to do this is to offer professional development opportunities that support teacher resilience. Joy in Teaching has AMAZING school and district book discounts that make teacher resilience training easy and affordable. These books walk educators through the research and tools needed to develop resiliency with actionable strategies and thought-provoking discussion questions.  Perfect for whole-staff PD or even PLC/PLN’s book studies.

When the well-being of teachers is a purposeful piece of professional development the whole school wins.

Learn more about the books, check out the school discounts, or purchase books to help support teacher resilience.



The Resilient Teacher's Timesaving Guidebook

Do you want to join the growing number of educators who believe in the power of resilience?

Download your FREE copy of The Resilient Teacher’s Timesaving Guidebook
Get inspirational and actionable resources to help you reclaim the joy in Teaching

You have Successfully Subscribed!