Surprise, surprise…. But yes…..
Teaching is one of the most honorable professions. Teachers are expected to have years of experience, a high level of dedication, and to continue upgrading themselves professionally almost throughout their whole career. Moreover, working with people requires good soft skills and an ability to stay in a good mood, or in some ways to show that you are in a good mood all the time. Having to meet such a high level of expectations, it is not a surprise to realize one day that you are like a sucked-out balloon that will not fly anymore. I think many professionals from the educational field at least once in their careers have come to this edge… I too turned out NOT to be an exception.
Having been teaching for 15 years, I am still enjoying what I am doing and I certainly love my students, at the same time I have to admit that some years ago I experienced a so-called teaching crisis. So, here are some of my tips that kept me boosted!
Introduce various guidance manuals
Unquestionably most of us do not have much choice as we have to stick to the curriculum recommendations. Nevertheless, there is still a loophole to bring additional materials, different worksheets, and some other entertaining activities like board games or even videos and songs. Such a tiny change in teaching routine will be beneficial for you and ultimately for your students, as they will immediately notice a sparkle in your eyes.
Teaching different age/level groups or grades
I understand that working with different types of groups or grades is fraught with extra preparation time and here we are talking about not burning out at work… Each academic group has its own character, ultimately the working environment will differ from group to group, as a result, we, teachers, will perform accordingly. All mentioned factors will help to gain more energy rather than consuming.
Do not prepare for classes too far in advance
Here I shall clarify that I do not mean syllabus which is essential for any course furthermore it is time-consuming to create one. If you are used to preparing a month ahead it is totally fine. I personally struggle to remember the message I wanted to deliver 10 days before. That is why I prefer doing my preparation a week in advance with fresh thoughts regarding the topic of discussion. Anyway, it is possible to add a final touch to your lesson plan closer to the class.
Take professional training course in ralated fields
Focusing only on the discipline you work with will soon bring you to the point of being overwhelmed. To avoid this, take a wider look at your subject. I am sure that you will find something that will be indirectly relevant to what you teach which will bring a fresh breeze to your work. Being a teacher of English, I have done some training on Business Communication and Academic Writing so far. Moreover, I have become interested in content writing and marketing that let me create several workshops in English for my students… and they appreciate a professional who is not frozen in one place.
Create time only for yourself in your daily routine
I am not talking about long hours. It may only be 10 – 15 breaks but you should take it regularly and do what fulfills you. Have a cup of coffee or tea and read a poem, or scroll through cool pictures on Pinterest, watch an episode of a favorite serial, look through a magazine. Please, do not take it as procrastination, but as a treat to yourself. For instance, I cannot imagine my daily routine without having coffee while doing make-up. It feels like a therapy that charges me with positive vibes for the day.
I cannot think of a better way to unwind. Lifting, yoga, palates, anything will do. Cardio will help enrich the blood with oxygen hence you will become a happier person. In addition, a regular training session will manage stress levels.
The bright side of being a teacher is to usually have longer leave than people in other fields. It is good if you have a chance to go away as changing the environment usually brings new impressions and memories. After a journey, we feel more relaxed and peaceful with new experiences and stories that might be interesting to incorporate into your teaching plan.
I hope that you will find these tips handy in preventing yourself from burning out. If you have some advice or ideas to share, leave a message in the comment box. Hope you have a long teaching career and also enjoy your coffee!