As teachers, we tend to be perfectionists. We want to do it all! But then, we also get burned out from time to time. Here’s 5 truths about teaching that you probably need to admit to yourself. This is the first step to recovering from your teacher burnout!
5 Truths About Teaching That You Need to Admit
Teaching is Stressful
Recently, I was telling my therapist (yes, I have a therapist)how stressed I felt about life. Even though I hadn’t been doing anything stressful, really. Just staying busy with canning, baking, and normal life activities.
He explained to me that eustress is a type of good stress. But even though a task is productive, or even enjoyable, it still takes a certain amount of energy out of you. And let me tell you that canning 18 quarts of spaghetti sauce for the first time (without a tomato strainer, I might add) definitely takes energy out of you!
Teaching is the same way. Even when the kids are on their best behavior. Or when the lesson goes according to plan, or when objectives are met. Teaching takes a lot out of you!
Teaching Isn’t Always Enjoyable
I love my kids. They’re like family to me. But they totally get on my nerves some days! They don’t listen, or they’re just annoying. Or not getting what I’m trying to teach. Maybe they’re not even paying attention.
It happens. And it’s ok! It’s ok to admit that you dislike kids sometimes. I think as teachers and daycare providers, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to always enjoy every kid every moment of every day. That’s just not realistic.
Admit to yourself that you don’t like a kid’s attitude or behavior, or that they’re driving you insane. Forgive yourself for this “imperfection” and move on instead of beating yourself up. Wishing you were alone instead of surrounded by children every once in a while does not make you a bad teacher.
Teaching is a lot of Pressure
Sometimes things we’ve been doing for years or trained to do still gets overwhelming. That’s ok. I still get super stressed out when I know I have an inspection coming up. Am I doing something wrong? Not that I’m aware of. But I still have physical symptoms of anxiety until it’s over with.
I see a lot of teachers on various Facebook groups mentioning stress about parent/teacher conferences or observations. It’s totally normal! And it’s totally okay to feel worked up about it. Telling yourself you shouldn’t be worried, when you really are worried, is just a form of denial that actually makes the situation worse.
Sometimes You Question Your Decision to Teach
I know I’m not alone in this.
You went to college. For years, you’ve dreamed of teaching in your own classroom. You decorated your classroom epically and your lesson plans are perfect.
And yet, things never end up quite like we expect. And then the doubts creep in…What if I chose the wrong career? I thought this was my passion…but what if I was wrong? This is NOT how I envisioned it!
Going back to “teaching is not always enjoyable,” sometimes we just have bad days. Or weeks. Or even months. Sometimes our jobs are just hard! All of this can make us question ourselves and our decision to teach. Do we really want to do this for the rest of our lives?
I think a little doubt is healthy. It helps us reevaluate what we want in life, what our goals for ourselves and our class are, and set new plans into action. However, sometimes…
Teachers Need a Break
It’s true! Even super teachers need a break. In fact, taking time for relaxing and self-care are not only beneficial, but essential to your health and quality as a teacher.
When you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, or just plain tired, this will reflect in your teaching. You’ll be more irritable, less patient, and less ambitious and motivated.
You need to take a break now and then! Try to make some time for doing nothing every day. This might be watching tv, reading a book, or skimming Pinterest.
Then, when you feel yourself getting burned out, take a longer break. Do what you have to, do your job well, but leave work at work. It’s perfectly okay to take a week, or two, or three, or four, off from going above and beyond and just catch your breath.
The pressures of life outside of teaching, like family, friends, our kids’ school and extracurriculars, church and other organizations, bills, and even PMS can really put us on edge now and then!
When this happens, take a breather from being a super teacher and try just being a teacher. And a mom, wife, friend, birthday-party-planner, tomato-sauce-canner, or whatever else you’re into these days. Take some time to just be you.
How to Find Balance As a Teachaholic Series
- 5 Truths About Teaching You Need to Admit
- 7 Free Ways to Relax After a Hard Day Teaching
- Why You Need to Set Personal Goals [And How to Do It]
- How to Get Work Done (When You Really Don’t Feel Like It)