I still remember the day when I wanted to become a teacher, just because I loved my Savitha ma’am. All I knew at that time was I want to be like her. She was a person filled with warmth, empathy, passion and all the best things I could think about. Her beautiful smile with a red rose on her braid is still so fresh memory in my head when I take her name.
At that period of time all schools were busy having discussions about the rising school drop-out rate and our teachers were convincing parents on importance of keeping students in school. The question was “What will be the future of our country if we don’t stop increasing of drop-outs”?
Even though this is still a problem in rural areas today, the country is now facing another drop-out related issue with its own set of consequences: Teachers are quitting the profession in shockingly abnormal digits. We are grappling with a new question: “What will be the future of our country if there are no sufficient qualified teachers in the schools”?
Teachers are quitting the profession of teaching due to various reasons and this is called as teacher burnout. We have to solve these issues, if we want to produce happier students and teachers, it’s time to take a hard look into this issue of teacher burnout.
Before we can devise and implement effective methods for addressing burnout, we must understand what it is. That’s where a good teacher burnout definition comes in. If these teacher burnout statistics tell us anything, it’s that the problem is more immediate than many people want to believe.
What Are the Impacts of Teacher Burnout?
The act of teaching is giving opportunities, ideas, knowledge, and guidance to students. Teaching is a rewarding yet demanding career. With long hours and a heavy workload, it’s easy to fall prey to teacher burnout. Without proper support, teachers are in danger of being overworked and not taking care of their own mental and physical health needs.
Teacher burnout will dilute educational quality, as it increases the numbers of under qualified or straight-up unqualified teachers in the system. This is a devastating outcome of burnout, leading to reduced student achievement. But it does indicate a serious need to recognize burnout sooner, implement supports for teachers, and try to keep qualified teachers in place, especially in the low-income environments where it is so common.
Symptoms & Signs of Burnout
Signs and symptoms of burnout vary depending on the type of burnout experiences, burnout has conventionally been termed as a relatively uniform entity in individuals.
According to Montero-Marín and García-Campayo, the three sub-types include:
1. Frenetic: This category includes teachers who put a lot of time and energy into their work, are extremely dedicated to achievement and attach personal ambition to their efforts. Consequently, their personal lives often suffer, as they feel they cannot get the self-care they need to balance out their workload.
2. Underchallenged: The underchallenged type lacks motivation and interest, does not apply themselves to their work beyond a superficial effort, and their experience of boring routine and lack of acknowledgement drives them to seek other employment.
3. Worn-out: When the teacher no longer has anything to give to the profession, they become completely worn out, disregarding their responsibilities. They feel a lack of recognition and lack of power that eventually leads to significant neglect of their duties.
What Causes Teacher Burnout?
I had this marvelous teacher at my son’s school She was extremely passionate towards her teaching profession. Everyone just knew that she will be going to teach forever. She was a lifer. When she resigned years later, it was a shocking decision for we parents, Upon further questioning she said ‘I can’t teach the way I know I’m supposed to be teaching and this doesn’t fit any of the narratives about teachers we’ve been fed.’ This teacher was saying she is changing the profession. When I heard it, I thought to myself, “This teacher was burned out”
Teacher burnout is an extreme form of chronic stress that can affect any teacher, regardless of how experienced or passionate they are about their jobs. With stress levels so high, it’s no wonder that many teachers suffer from burnout at some point during their career. And a teacher’s emotions can set the tone for the class, so when they reach burnout, their students’ learning experience may also suffer.
I’m a teacher-educator in addition to being a edupreneur and serial entrepreneur, so I’m totally committed to build a tribe of passionate teachers enter, stay, and thrive in the profession, for themselves, their students, and their communities.
On teachers day our teachers were all excited to hear Teacher’s Day wishes and get pampered by lil’ ones. Forget about wishing by children, parents didn’t even bother to greet our teachers on that day with a smile. Neither they taught children to wish their teachers.
It was heart wrenching to see the no end questions in their eyes “Why is my this profession so under rated, and why are we ignored”
A teacher later in that month walks up to me, hands over the resignation letter and says “I chose this profession as my grandfather was a teacher, he earned nothing in money but earned huge respect in value. I dreamt of making his dreams come true by getting into this profession. But my hopes lied me and shattered my view I had for this profession. I would better do something on my own where I could find both Money and value”
First of all, I want to stress that it’s not just the Preschool teacher who is feeling demoralized. This is also happening in most of the schools that show up in the top schools in the country.
When we talk about resilience in teachers in teacher education, it’s usually centered around self-care. But that is an insufficient and entirely too passive way to address the problems teachers are encountering today.
Educational institutions should sow seeds of hope and must begin providing teacher burnout solutions right from the day one of the job.
How to Avoid Burnout
Even the strongest teachers can get overwhelmed from time to time. Knowing how to prevent and recover from burnout is not only important for a teacher’s personal health but for the well-being of the entire educational institution.
Flexibility is key and real change isn’t going to happen in 60-minute faculty motivation meetings. This is deep work, but the work itself is re-moralizing because it will help to create an authentic professional community.
A community involving educators in initiatives to find solutions, to develop interventions, to create opportunities and taking action, in a way that feels less isolating. Internal Teacher committee can be an incredible source of support for teachers and help create those communities that can make change.
Developing a culture that destigmatizes mental health issues in the workplace and providing proper and ongoing training is the best way to address burnout. In not doing so, school administrators will continue to perpetuate the burnout epidemic.