What is Teacher FOMO? And, How to Overcome It.

by | Mar 11, 2019

FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out

We all suffer from it, time-to-time. It’s that feeling that something amazing is happening without you. Social media is a major culprit in inducing FOMO with pictures of shiny happy people. Whenever you feel that pit in your stomach that you aren’t included and others maybe be having a better time or doing greater things – then you, my friend, are experiencing FOMO. There's a special form of FOMO that is specific to educators and it preys on our psyche, resilience, and well-being. Click To Tweet

Teacher FOMO

Teacher FOMO is an issue closely related to time. The fact that there is never enough time to do everything to be specific. Between teaching, planning, grading, organizing, meetings, professional development, committees, conferences, duties (the familiar list goes on and on), there is barely enough time to eat or use the bathroom.

FOMO can take its toll on the best of us and we might not even recognize it.

The hectic schedule and increasing roles that teachers take on are only complicated by a desire to balance a life outside of school. Family, friends, and social events can easily take a back seat if we don’t consciously make room for them in our lives. But, there are only 24 hours in the day.

Eventually, as educators, we realize that saying yes to one opportunity means saying no to others. This is when the FOMO kicks in. Click To Tweet

It is this constant feeling that we should be doing more, this struggle to be everything to everyone, that is at the heart of teacher FOMO.

How to overcome Teacher FOMO

The first step in overcoming Teacher FOMO is accepting that we are not in control of our time – not completely. There are set hours that you WILL be in meetings, in the classroom, performing duties and tasks that are assigned to you

The second step is prioritizing what you will do in the remaining hours.

Here are some tips to help you release the grip of your Teacher FOMO:

Recognize the need for balance

It all comes down to balance and each day won’t be perfect. Instead, seek the moments that create balance. Schedule time for yourself and loved ones. This article, Teaching & Work-Life Balance. 5 Tips, provides some great examples.

Take stock

Don’t be fooled. Being reflective of how you are doing is actual work. It takes time to sit down and check in with yourself, but it is necessary. Ask yourself questions about your time and stress levels. The results can be revealing. This article, 100 Days of School Teacher Wellbeing Check-in, offers some great reflective questions to start you off.

Listen to your teacher voice

Educators have some of the best advice out there – for others. Listen to what you say to your students or staff when you are giving them permission to fail up and try new approaches. Are you being at least as gentle on yourself? This article, What If Teachers Took Their Own Advice? Could It Change How We Teach?, provides some great examples of when it’s best to listen to yourself as a mentor.

Seek your own PD

Sometimes, when all else fails it’s up to you to figure out what you need.

If your Teacher FOMO is from too much time spent at work and you need to spend more time with loved ones, schedule it in like an important and don’t make excuses to cancel. This article, 50 Resilience Strategies to Curb Teachers’ Stress, offers some great tips for reclaiming some time for yourself and those you care about.

If your Teacher FOMO is from not being able to leave school at school consider seeking out time-saving tips or resilience strategies (hint: you’re in the right place – that’s what we do!).


For more resilience building strategies take a peek at the Joy in Teaching books. Just click here.


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