Teacher burnout has become one of the most common and frequent issues in the educational world. More teachers are backing off from the profession of teaching and considering other career options. A research conducted by IAO showed that there has been a major increase in overall teacher stress that is causing the teachers to burn out at work. The increase has been fatal and slow due to which it missed the attention of educationalists.
We tried to find the reason behind this burnout among teachers and found out that there is really not one reason behind it. There are several things that contribute to teacher stress collectively. One of the main reasons for stress among teachers is the changing nature of education and modes of learning. This same reason is also responsible for increasing student stress. The advent of digitization in education has been both a challenge and a blessing which requires the eye of expert and attention of professionals to be utilized properly. Apart from this, there are several other issues that are causing teachers to burn out at work. Here is how teachers can stay stress-free and deal with pressure at work.
1- Incorporate Technology
As discussed earlier, the advent of digitization is one of the biggest reasons behind the teacher and student stress. Technology has changed the educational culture to a huge extent and in a very small period of time. This abrupt shift has given teachers a very limited time to adjust to the changes, which results in causing teacher burnout at work. The concept of digital learning is still foreign to many traditional teachers, therefore, they often choose to stick to their quintessential methods of teaching.
The clash between modern students and traditional teachers often causes teacher and student burnout. It is important that teachers understand the importance of technology or EdTech and incorporate it into their classroom. It will not only make it easier for the teachers to teach modern students but will bridge the generational divide between teachers and students of the current age.
2- Friendly environment in Classroom
We asked various teachers about the reasons behind stress and burnout at work, and many of them responded that student behavior contributes a lot to their mental health and mood. Teachers find it difficult to teach a class where students are not cooperative enough. Just as the toxic behavior of teacher impact student learning, similarly student behavior also has a deep impact on teachers behavior. Student disrespect is one of the major reasons why teachers are backing off from the profession.
Although, backing off is not the solution to the problem. Teachers may want to create a friendly and pleasant climate in the classroom which would create a wholesome and healthy relationship between the teacher and student. A modern teacher mainly plays the role of a guide rather than a leader, therefore, teachers may want to be a friendly guide when it comes to engaging students. Instead of being stern and stringent with class students, teachers may want to try out modern approaches to achieve a friendly class environment.
3- Take small breaks
The average class duration is from 30 to 40 minutes, and a teacher conducts 5 to 6 such sessions per day. Teachers rarely ever get any break between the sessions, which can be a contributing factor to increasing teacher stress. It is highly recommended by experts to take a small break whether you are a professional in any field. Teaching is an extremely challenging profession that requires maximum engagement and calls for small breaks.
Teachers may want to incorporate 2 to 3 small breaks within their daily schedule to remain mentally healthy. It is not unhealthy to take frequent breaks as it will only recharge you to teach in a better and more productive way.
4- Allow Mistakes
Many teachers are too hard on themselves and get stressed out over making small mistakes. They tend to keep the same attitude when it comes to student mistakes as well. Whenever a student makes a small mistake, teachers blame themselves and their teaching methods. This attitude is one of the main reasons for teacher burnout.
Teachers may want to give them self a break and allow students to make mistakes. It is one of the healthiest habits that you as a teacher can adopt. It also helps in the attainment of point number 3, students tend to communicate better with the teachers when they know they are not going to get punished to make minor mistakes. This results in a healthy classroom environment where students and teachers can rely on and trust each other.
5- Create a Flexible Schedule
A lot of dedicated teachers are also burning out at work. For example, setting unrealistic goals and then failing to achieve them. Often teachers create an unrealistic and challenging schedule that is difficult and almost impossible to follow. Failure to follow their schedule often adds to their stress and causes burn out. It is recommended by teachers to create a schedule that is flexible and pliable. Therefore, if a teacher fails to follow the exact schedule, it is easier for them to bounce back and recover.