For most educators and teachers, they entered into the teaching profession either because they have a real love for a particular subject and want to impart their years of study and expertise on it to others, or they are passionate about working with children and young people to help mold them into bright young adults with excellent prospects in life.
Stressed, exhausted and burned out teachers
What most educators do not take into consideration are the emotional, financial and physically taxing issues that often come with the job or dealing with children and young adults on a daily basis.
It can be unbelievably stressful and exhausting (here’s 14 reasons why)
- No one would accuse teachers of having an easy job; dealing with kids from kindergarten to high school is no easy task.
- It is often a thankless job, but one that everyone knows is crucially important within our society.
- Knowing that you are helping to shape the future adults of the country should be rewarding. However, there are many stressful areas a teacher must navigate through.
- It is worth remembering that kids are hard work. While many will behave in class, there will always be a class clown that disrupts and annoys everyone, including the teacher.
- Dealing with these children can be exhausting, especially if there are more than one or two in a class.
- There are also exhausting conversations that must be had with children who are bullying others. But without the disciplinary clout of a parent, this can often go unheard by the child.
- Sometimes this can also result in a child having personal grievances with the teacher which can manifest in pranks, disruptions and other negative behaviors that can wear down on a teacher’s mental health.
- As well as dealing with the children, teachers often have to have frank and sometimes difficult conversations with parents, which can on occasion not have the intended effect.
- Parents often become emotional and defensive of their children and trying to come to an agreement with a parent about their child can be very delicate and emotionally draining.
- A less than stellar work-life balance further emphasizes the stresses that teachers face.
- While the hours appear to be pretty great, many do not account for the fact that teachers often times work late into the night and through breaks to get grading completed.
- Reading through mountains of essays, tests, and assignments on a daily basis takes a significant amount of time so that 9 to 3 job regularly becomes 9 to 10 or worse.
- And those summer holidays everyone is jealous of? They are usually spent working, either in summer school, camps or tutoring to make up the money that is frequently spent out of their own pocket all year round.
- All this doesn’t even cover the year-round financial aspect of teaching. Wages are a lot lower than you would expect for the work they do as well as using their own money to buy classroom essentials when they are needed.
What can we do to help teachers in this position?
- Remember that teachers regularly teach out of love; whether that is for children or for the subject, they want to be there and that is important.
- Record numbers of teachers are leaving the profession due to depression, job fatigue and financial issues and it is important that something is done to stop this decline.
- A good way to help manage stress and burnout in school is to make sure there is a great staff room culture where teachers can chill out and also address issues they have with one another.
- It can also be a place where all the teachers meet up during the week for a staff meeting on ways to combat the burnout and stress they have been experiencing.
- Burnout, stress and mental health issues are tackled much better as a team than they are alone.
- Frequently other people notice and recognize the signs of burnout and even depression long before the person experiencing it and can help each other out by talking through the issues.
- Teachers who reach these levels of burnout need to help each other recognize the signs of stress and burnout and perhaps seek help from the school or even from a professional