Preventing Teacher Burnout


Mr. Indra Raj Pathak
Director, Universal Setu Educational Consultancy Services, Jalandhar

Have you ever wished to spy the mind of a teacher and figure out what drives them to join the profession? We have looked into that and have found that most teachers run into job stress at least three to five times a day. Hopeless education reforms, lack of parental cooperation and squeeze from school for non-teaching tasks cause stress to the teachers.

What is teacher burnout?

Continuous physical and emotional fatigue rising from undue demands on energy, pointing to frustration and restlessness develops into a disorder called burnout. Students’ upsetting behavior, various professional commitments and threats crush the teachers and in schools, unfair sharing of duties and powers adds to more rage. These are some of the main reasons for teachers’ burnout.

Burnout leading to poor teaching

With poor zeal and high frustrations, a stressed teacher can never enjoy teaching or take pain to help a student. The question here arises that whether a stressed teacher can deliver the so-called quality education to the students? All these factors greatly affect the students and lead to an unhealthy class environment.

According to the International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health report, 74% of educators are experiencing occupational stress and 86% of the teachers have professional burnout.  The obvious but alarming fact is that this has a direct impact on the children.

Burnout and demoralization

Stressful teaching in taxing schools is the leading cause of teacher burnout. It is natural and related to teacher personality. Demoralization comes about when the job of teaching changes to what teachers never expected. Senseless education reforms with a political aim cause the teachers to become helpless and confused.

Decreasing quality of teaching and increasing students’ aggressiveness are some of the severe aftereffects of teacher burnout. Teacher burnout and demoralization are both hacking off the education framework in India. The situation calls for urgent action otherwise it will harm the coming generation.

All stakeholders to unite and act

Policymakers, parents, principals, school managements and teachers should come together to solve the problem of teacher burnout  and stand firm to create a pleasing and encouraging setting for the teachers, for ourselves, for our students, for our country and our world. Following suggestions may help the teachers to prevent/avoid burnout:

Quality finding attitude

There is a need to move from fault finding to quality finding attitude. We dispraise more but praise less. Make a habit of finding some good in everyone and everything. Hold positive discussions in the staff room or out of the campus.

Appreciate to feel better

When you want to feel better, look around for something to please you. Focus on the object, think about its beauty, usefulness or any quality. Stay focused for some time then you may try for another pleasing object.

Professional growth

Spare an hour every Sunday and plan for the coming week. You will have enough time to get your teaching resources and solve expected problems. Take every opportunity to attend workshops, conferences, and teacher training programmes. Search on the internet for teaching resources and update yourself on education trends developing in your country and the world.

Note of positive aspects

Pen down the name or brief report of someone or something that you cheer every time. It could be the name of your pet, your favourite shopping mall, your best friend or any person.

As you focus upon the name or title that you have written, ask yourself. What do I like about it? Why do I like it? What are my positive aspects about it? Note down the thoughts that come in response to your questions. Then write another name or title of someone or something that pleases you. Repeat the course for 20 minutes daily.

Be happy to share happiness

In a routine, teachers call parents and tell how bad the student is. You need to find a bunch of your students who get your liking. Call a parent and tell him about improvements. Show gratitude for an administrator or colleague by sending them an appreciative note.

Visualize pleasant scenes

We keep our minds busy all the time thinking about some object, incident, people or condition that we see or experience. Thoughts matching the existing situation will bring back the same. The universe vibrates with our every positive/negative thought living now or imagining and answers the same in compliance with the law of attraction. So, apply the law of attraction and practice picturing pleasant scenes in your mind to attract them.


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