What is Teacher Burnout?

Teacher burnout is more than just a rough day. And it is ongoing anxiety that can have serious adverse effects on both work and personal life. This article talks about the ways through which you can deal with burnout.

Burnout is a type of psychological distress- a chronic negative psychological state that arises when day-to-day job stresses take a toll. Teacher burnout is a significant psychological issue that impacts the lives of thousands of excellent educators.


A burned-out educator has low morale and self-esteem and is physically exhausted. According to the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), teaching demands educators to spend 39 percent more time with students than they do outside.

Teacher morale and student accomplishment are directly related; the more robust the teacher morale, the higher the student achievement. A teacher’s emotional experience sets the tone for a classroom. After all, teachers are human beings, and they must take care of themselves.

There is often a difficulty in acknowledging and overcoming teacher burnout. When you look for signs of teacher burnout, learn to cope with stress, and practice self-care, it will empower you to address systemic issues related to a profession in education. Please know that you are not alone.

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Signs of Burnout

Here are some signs that stress has turned into burnout:

1. Exhaustion

Teachers experiencing burnout may feel exhausted even after a night’s sleep because they do so much throughout the day. Alternatively, they may have difficulty sleeping, as burnout can cause sleep disruptions.

2. Depression

Teachers who are burnt out may also exhibit symptoms of depression and despair. A lack of interest, feelings of helplessness, anxiety, impatience, and other signs of depression may be present.

3. Withdrawal

Teachers experiencing burnout may choose not to attend social or family gatherings. Withdrawal is accompanied by depersonalization, characterized by a sense of estrangement or a negative attitude toward one’s environment.

4. Lack of Motivation

Most instructors begin their professions with a sense of purpose. They are driven to make a difference, believe in their potential to impact change, and are eager to get started. This motivation and desire are extinguished when a teacher is burnt-out.

Instead of being pleased to meet new students at the start of the year, burned-out instructors fear what may go wrong. Instead of being confident in their ability to make a difference, they may feel like fighting a losing battle.

The Consequences of Teacher Burnout

Teacher burnout can result in a range of reactions over time. Burnout is defined by the World Health Organization as an occupational issue with three essential characteristics:

  • Exhaustion: When instructors suffer burnout, they may feel weary and devoid of energy, making it difficult to continue their profession.
  • Cynicism: Teachers who are burnt out may begin to feel mentally separated from their employment. Their attitudes about the profession might become negative.
  • Inefficacy: Teacher burnout can also result in emotions of inadequacy or ineffectiveness.

Ways to Prevent Teacher Burnout

1. Make Mindfulness a Part of Your Daily Routine
Mindfulness is a kind of meditation where you concentrate on being aware of what you are sensing and feeling in the present moment, without any judgment. Mindfulness incorporates breathing techniques, meditation, and other activities that assist in calming the body and mind.

Mindfulness is the discipline that encourages people to do regular mental check-ins, which can help lessen the symptoms of teacher burnout. It enables instructors to recognize their inner experience before it overwhelms them.

It might be challenging for teachers to take the time to evaluate their own needs during overscheduled school days but doing a brief mental assessment is the first step towards mental peace.

2. Physical Activity or Exercise
It is essential to pay attention to one’s physical being and create an exercise routine for stress to relieve burnout. Whether it’s a walk during lunch or a 30-minute weight workout before or after work, physical movement relieves tension in the body. Teachers can even incorporate this into their classroom routines by allowing desk breaks, stretching, or yoga.

3. Make a Community
Socializing with others allows you to explore other aspects of your personality. Having both in the group (other teachers) and out of a group (people outside your profession) peers might assist you in developing support networks. Create a network and count on one another in times of stress.

4. Establish Defined Internal and External Boundaries
Make fair timetables for yourself. Though sticking to a plan is essential, don’t let it become so restrictive that you feel trapped in it.

If you lack boundaries, you will take on workloads, priorities, and responsibilities that aren’t yours and would have difficulty saying no. Setting clear boundaries is crucial since it will enhance your focus. As a result, you’ll have more time and energy to accomplish critical tasks. Set limits with your coworkers about when and how they will contact you.

5. Develop a Growth Mindset

Teachers may avoid burnout by viewing each day as a fresh start. Adopting a growth mindset is an act of self-compassion that allows teachers to extend the same grace and compassion to themselves that they do to their students. Teachers can include this self-care practice which will empower them.

When we neglect to defend the principles we believe in, we risk losing our integrity, being confused about who we are, and allowing others to control our lives. Identifying the most critical values will help us maintain a growth mindset and avoid burnout.

P.S: Do not self-diagnose yourself on the basis of the information provided above. It is to make you aware of the importance of mental health. If you feel that you are showing any symptoms listed above, go to your nearest psychologist/ psychiatrist.


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