Educator burnout is a pervasive issue that has been steadily worsening over the years. It’s a state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion that can lead to a decrease in effectiveness, a lack of enthusiasm for the profession, and a decline in overall well-being. According to a study by the American Federation of Teachers, 61% of educators reported feeling stressed out, and 58% said their mental health was not good for seven or more of the past 30 days (American Federation of Teachers, 2017). This article will explore two key strategies for recovering from burnout: adjusting core beliefs and setting boundaries, through the lens of my personal experience as an educator.

The Escalating Problem of Teacher Burnout

Over the years, the problem of teacher burnout has escalated. A 2021 study by the RAND Corporation found that nearly one in four teachers considered leaving their jobs by the end of the 2020 school year, compared to one in six before the pandemic (RAND Corporation, 2021). This increase in burnout has been attributed to factors such as increased workload, lack of support, and the emotional toll of navigating the changing landscape of education amidst a global pandemic.

Adjusting Core Beliefs

Core beliefs are the fundamental views we hold about ourselves, others, and the world around us. They are often formed in childhood and can significantly impact our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In my experience as an educator, I held the core belief that I couldn’t say no to additional responsibilities, like subbing, covering classes, and extra recess duties due to staffing shortages. I believed that refusing these tasks would make me appear as if I wasn’t doing my job well enough or that I was complaining. This belief led to excessive stress and pressure, contributing to burnout.

To adjust these beliefs, educators can start by identifying what their core beliefs are. Questions to ask might include:

  • What do I believe about my responsibilities as a educator?
  • What do I believe about the expectations of my role?
  • What do I believe about my ability to say no?

Once these beliefs are identified, educators can then work to adjust them. For example, instead of believing that I couldn’t say no to additional responsibilities, I adjusted this belief to: “I have a right to manage my workload effectively and say no when necessary.”

Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries is another crucial strategy for recovering from burnout. Boundaries are the limits we set with others, including our time, energy, and personal space. For me, setting boundaries looked like:

  • Communicating with my bosses and coworkers about the need for subbing coverage to be equally shared among all strategists.
  • Saying no to additional responsibilities that were not part of my job description.
  • Prioritizing my time and energy by focusing on the most important tasks.

Here are a couple of sentence frames that educators can use to set boundaries at work:

  • “I appreciate your understanding as I need to manage my workload effectively. Can we find a way to equally distribute the subbing coverage among all strategists?”
  • “I understand this task is important, but I need to prioritize my current responsibilities. Can we find a solution to get this done during work hours?”

The escalating issue of teacher burnout has been significantly amplified by the unique challenges of recent years. However, by taking proactive steps such as adjusting core beliefs and setting boundaries, educators can embark on a journey towards recovery from burnout, paving the way for a more sustainable and fulfilling career. It’s crucial to remember that this recovery is a journey, not a race, and seeking support is not only okay but often necessary.

If this article resonated with you and you’re interested in delving deeper into the topics of Core Beliefs and Setting Boundaries, as well as exploring how to utilize AI to lighten your workload, consider checking out the link in the bio. This eLearning course, developed from my personal journey to understand the root causes of my burnout and identify ways to heal from it, offers comprehensive insights and practical strategies to further assist you in navigating and overcoming teacher burnout. It is my hope that this course can help prevent others from finding themselves in situations that lead to burnout, just as it has done for me.

The Art of Self-Preservation:Navigating Burnout in Education

Teacher burnout is a complex issue that requires a comprehensive approach to overcome. If you're ready to take the next step in understanding, identifying, and overcoming burnout, consider enrolling in our Thinkific course, The Art of Self-Preservation: Navigating Burnout in Education. This course, designed with the needs of educators in mind, provides a detailed roadmap to navigate burnout in education. It covers everything from understanding the signs and stages of burnout, examining and adjusting your core beliefs, beginning your recovery through self-care and support, setting crucial boundaries, harnessing AI to manage workload, and creating an action plan for your wellbeing. Don't let burnout dictate your teaching career. Take control, preserve your passion for teaching, and lead a healthier, happier career. Click the link to enroll in The Art of Self-Preservation: Navigating Burnout in Education today, and start your journey towards overcoming teacher burnout. For a limited time, use the coupon code "EDUBURNOUT50" to receive a 50% discount on your enrollment. Don't miss this opportunity to invest in your wellbeing and future in education.