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New Teachers

Preventing Burnouut Early On

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Haley Jacobsen Haley Jacobsen 820 Points

We are often told that the first few years are the hardest because you're learning the curriculum, the best ways to teach the curriculum, getting used to how the school and administration are run, and building relationships with the community, coworkers, and students, all while teaching. The stress of all of this is said to cause early burnout.

What are some ways that new teachers can set healthy boundaries between home and work during their first few years? What are some methods you use and recommend for teachers to keep their mental state and motivation in places that allows them to show up the best they can for their students every single day?

Toni Bush Toni Bush 1805 Points

Hello Jacobsen,

I am a current senior at Brenau University but I have worked in a public school system for over fifteen years as a para-educator and tutor. My best advice is to take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. Do not be afraid to ask for help, try to maintain organization, and make sure to use resources. Please make sure to set time aside for work and home intentionally and do not waiver when you do. For instance, I come to work everday an hour early to get things done so, when it is time to go home, I go home. You determine what is best for you. I hope this helps.

Cora Saunders Cora Saunders 915 Points

Hi Haley!

I am only a third year in college, but I also worry about early burnout. One thing I am currently doing is building relationships with current elementary school teachers. I have conversations with them about how they balance their work and home lives. One of the biggest things they have told me is you have to set boundaries. Choose one or two days a week where you will stay longer or go to school earlier to get work done if needed. If you need to work on the weekend, choose Saturday or Sunday, but devote at least one day for a break. Another tip they have shared is after your first year or so, don't bring your work home, otherwise, you will always be tempted to do something. It is also important that you build a solid support system and an environment that is positive. As teachers we should be helping and encouraging one another. While talking with other teachers keep the conversations positive and mention the good things that are happening in your classroom and students' success. There is definitely a time and place to discuss classroom/school-wide problems, but don't let those things consume your conversations. Those conversations will leave you feeling down and unhappy. Lastly, make sure to always make yourself a priority, because if you aren't then you won't be the best you for your students. 

Thanks for your question! 

Cora Saunders

Wartburg College 

Kayley Perry Kayley Perry 290 Points

Thank you for posting this question. I am about to start my student teaching, but a concern for me is how to avoid burnout and balance home and work life. This is great feedback. 

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