By Stacy Novak, WATG Board Member
This school year sure has been stressful for all teachers. Everyone is experiencing different circumstances, but they all provide stress and burnout the same way. Teachers are dealing with virtual learning, hybrid learning, changes within the classroom if in person, students and teachers having to quarantine at various times throughout the school year, and possibly even going back and forth from in-person to virtual and back again.
I also have been experiencing stress and burnout throughout the school year. For my gifted and talented program, I teach three grade levels (third, fourth, and fifth). This means I have three grade levels to plan activities for in social studies, math, and spelling. I do whole class activities for reading, writing, and science. This was normal the last two years as well; however, now since the students have to stay in my room the whole day, I have to teach all grade levels religion as well (they used to go to their grade level for religion class). I have one students who is virtual and many students who have had to quarantine throughout the year due to exposures or not feeling well (thankfully, no positive cases, though!), so I make my lessons into Google Slides so the students get the whole lesson if they are not present at school. This takes up a lot of time to put the lesson into a Google Slide and make it look nice. I also record all math lessons, so that means recording three grade levels of math.
One Day at a Time
As the 2020-2021 school year has unfolded, I have learned that you have to take the school year one day at a time and not focus too far into the future. The year 2020 has definitely taught us that anything can happen at the snap of a finger, so we have to be flexible and understanding.
In order to help myself avoid burnout this school year, I have done a few things:
As we come to a new year, set goals for yourself and stick to them! Make a plan for how you want to proceed in the year 2021 in order to help you avoid teacher burnout. Then come back to that plan once a week to see how well you have stuck to it and reflect on what you can do to improve.
The Not So Wimpy Teacher said it best on her Podcast when she said, “News flash: your value is not tied to the number of hours you work. Your value is what you do with those hours”
(5 Ways to Spend Less Time at School).
I hope this post has given you some insight on how to prevent burnout this school year.
Please share what you do to prevent burnout!!