From the overlook, many people might mistake teaching for an “easy” job. While teachers do
not have to revive a patient on her deathbed, nor do they have to chase down dangerous criminals, they have an insurmountable responsibility. In the United States, 46 percent of teachers report having high daily stress, tied with demanding professions such as nurses or physicians. Most of us know a teacher who has “had enough”, someone who gave up the job because teaching is underpaid, stressful, and overwhelming. So, what can we do with our teachers, who are constantly burning out at the job?
Teacher burnout is no novel phenomenon. For generations, teaching has been a tough job, yet teacher wellbeing has received little attention until recent years. According to many studies about teacher burnout, a list of symptoms can be found below:
Demotivation and Frustration: The feeling of unfulfillment when getting the job done, especially when they cannot change the system. Teachers have to teach students to the test, without any meaningful values because of the curriculum.
Overwhelming: Teacher finds herself drowning in the amount of grading and teaching that they need to complete every class
Exhaustion: Teaching can be a very exhausting activity. From lesson planning to classroom management, the teaching workforce has to do it all.
Stress: Many teachers report to have little to no time for self-care. Some also feel a lack of support from administration and parents.
Physical degradation: As a chain reaction to stress, weight loss/gain or lack of sleep are also proven to be problematic to the productiveness of our teachers.
Like students, teachers need a strong support system now more than ever.
They are spending their years of youth educating our future generations, who not only need to be working, but also thriving. If school leaders want to produce happier students and teachers, it’s time to start helping teachers retain their motivation in working and increase their wellbeing.
To encourage more college students to enter this teaching profession, we must make sure that teachers can feel rewarding by taking care of their mental wellbeing. Let them know that they can find happiness and satisfaction through positive interaction with the people around them. Essentially, we must try our best to encourage teachers to have a positive impact on their students’ learning trajectory without draining out their energy.