Summary: We are in new territory post-pandemic, and the education system needs an upgrade, or we will keep losing dedicated educators. Here’s what to do. With a radical idea at the end of this post.
If you’re a classroom teacher feeling the pressure of your job, I can help you identify the signs of teacher burnout so you can work to prevent it from further impacting your life.
For example, in a 2022 study of over 4,000 teachers, (81%) said their overall workload has increased. In addition, more than half (55%) of teachers said they have less planning time due to staff shortages and other factors.
We need Stress management programs for leaders, now more than ever.
The combination of extra work and fewer resources has caused unprecedented teacher stress, which has increased teacher burnout.
It’s time to change the system now. Or there will not be anyone left to help our kids grow and become the best they can be.
I have a short list of the issues and a solution that could make a difference.
Moreover, in most schools, there’s a lack of resources.
All in all, the school day is not over when the last bell rings and the youngsters go home. There is preparation for the new lessons.
Stress in the workplace is causing burnout and resignations.
As a result of stress in the workplace, the education sector has lost educators to teacher burnout, causing the teacher shortage.
There is also a shortage of substitute teachers.
After that, think about the random teacher evaluations or walk-throughs that occur regularly. Many claim they feel like they are being “spied on.”
The trust level is weak and getting weaker.
Furthermore, consider the political issues that bleed into the school from parents, community organizers, and the school board.
Things like banned books and what can or cannot be taught in history or social studies classes can get ugly.
There is limited creativity permitted for classroom teachers. As one teacher lamented, “We must teach the same curriculum and keep the same pacing we were given at the beginning of the school year. I call this “bot teaching” cause a robot could probably do this the way the school wants.”
Limited autonomy, stress increases, and productivity decreases.
She added, “I have no autonomy and no way of implementing a curious perspective in the youngsters. It’s rinse and repeat. The students are programmed to read the assignment, take the test, and move on.”
Above all, teachers who care (that means most!!) have internal pressure to help each child reach their full potential. However, we all know it takes a village, and many youngsters in school have little or no support at home.
Let me underline that little support occurs for the most disadvantaged in the fanciest private school.
If you are an educator, I know you are familiar with the theme of “lunch interrupted.” And please don’t suggest, as some have advised, “Well, you should create boundaries and stick to them. Lunch is your time. Don’t “bother” with issues during your private time.”
How do you say to the children and teens fighting or crying, “Not my problem.”
Schools need systems thinking to solve problems; everyone must be considered for the right results.
Could you ignore issues and create an impenetrable boundary? If you can, I suggest you change careers.
That leads to a big issue: I know this one all too well as a psychologist working in a school setting for years. Want to take a guess? Yup, it is dealing with difficult parents.
More school counselors must be trained in family dynamics for long-lasting, positive student change.
I want to honor those who are educators, doing much with less, and I hope we can begin a new conversation about school priorities.
Education leadership requires changes in the system, not just the individuals.
In addition, I have a radical suggestion at the end of this blog.
In the meantime, here are some suggestions for at least stress mastery.
Here’s what to do:
- Assess Your Stress Level: Take the Stress Mastery Quiz to gain a handle on your specific stress situation.
- Establish Realistic Goals: Write to right it. Write down 3, yes, only three goals you can accomplish in the next few weeks.
- Focus on What You Can Control: Think of one student you can help this week.
- Contact a coach to help you see beyond the obvious.
- Participate in Stress-Relieving Activities: Join the “Sanity Challenge” on my Facebook Stress Mastery group.
- Get a coach to do a deeper dive into your concerns.
- Relax. Get a cup of green tea, play music, and close your eyes for 5 minutes.
Stress management programs for educators are the starting point for positive change.
All things considered, there are no easy answers for those who care and educators care. You are holding the future in your hands and getting minimal acknowledgment.
Therefore, I want to say “Thank You” and offer a free copy of the introduction to my book “Invisible Stress (It’s NOT What YOU Think).” Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to your success,
Please consider my outrageous plan for the future.
PS. My outrageous thought. What if all national and local political contests had a cap for marketing on television and social media? The 2022 election is the most expensive midterm election yet. Candidates and political action committees spent nearly, are you ready, almost $17 billion on state and federal campaigns.
PSS, What if no more than $1 million per candidate/campaign was spent and the rest of the money was donated to local school districts? Just what if!!! The candidates would have to be more creative, and we would have better school systems to prepare the next generations to take over a more productive world.