Let me know if that applies to you:
Summer Break is only two weeks away. Yet, I am barely handling the stress of the last weeks of school!
If it does, keep reading!
Teaching is always most stressful the weeks leading to a break.
We teachers have the most rewarding and difficult jobs. With that, there is always the possibility of burnout. I have found the two weeks leading to a spring or summer break to be the most difficult.
If you don’t know me, in this blog I write a lot about preventing teacher stress and burnout. I try to give simple tips and reminders to schedule lesson plans wiser in order to prevent burnout in what we do.
There are times when you simply cannot handle one more thing on your plate. But you also know that you cannot afford a day off.
So when you are in this state, here is a completely different perspective on making thing feel lighter. You may love it or hate it. And if you hate it, you can always visit our more conventional teacher burnout tips🙂
Have you had a situation where doing more work turned out to be a teacher stress management strategy?
You know, the opposite of burn out is doing what you love! And we all love teaching. But when teacher stress and burnout happen we need to be reminded of that.
Swap your classroom!
Teaching In a Different Classroom As a Guest Benefits Both Parties
About a month ago I was asked to help two music programs at different schools on their preparation for music festivals. One of the music programs I had to visit meets very early in the morning. Time would have worked out as that class would meet before mine started. I could do both.
It had been a very long week with me pulling 10-12 hour days every day. The thought of doing anything extra got me worried. Yet, I felt I needed to say yes.
To my biggest surprise, instead of feeling more burnout, quite the opposite happened! The work with different students at a different location energized me! Exchanging ideas and seeing how other students learn made me think more about my own music program.
I went back to my own school and the energy and enthusiasm I put into teaching my kids doubled!
I realized that it is the change of routine that I needed! Curiously, the routine break up came to me through MORE work. What I didn’t realize was that I didn’t need much of a change, just enough get a fresh perspective. Often in our lives we just need to change the pieces of the puzzle a bit, not to throw away the whole puzzle.
Swapping Classrooms in a Scheduled Manner
Last year I started doing something similar with a colleague of mine. We teach the same subject. We have a class of the same level that meets at the same time. We are actually at the neighbor schools! When we felt like both the students and we needed a break. We would swap our classrooms! He would teach my class and I would go teach his. It was a wonderful way for the students to get a different perspective, for us to build on each other’s strengths. More important it has always been refreshing!
Did the principals complain? Everything went so smoothly that they didn’t even have to know about it! But when they heard about it, they loved the idea.
How can this be done at your school? See if you have a supportive colleague who teaches at the same time. The same subject is nor always necessary. Your science colleagues can bring a fresh perspective in your math class. may have a great tips on. Or you may have a colleague who is from a different country, thus giving your social studies class an authentic Q&A about the country. To me as a music teacher, it is fun to swap the band and orchestra teachers once in a while in order to get a different perspective of how the other director hears the music. Do what feels best and would be fun and beneficial to you!
The Bottom Line-Swapping Classrooms Gives You an Opportunity To Re-discover Your Love for Teaching
Don’t we all have periods where things feel that the work is a lot all the time, the same all the time, and the time for yourself is none? I feel that everybody goes through phases like this. Yet, parents and teachers may feel this more often due to the consistent work and care they put into the world.
Teachers are so busy all the time. Most of their work is in the service of the children around them. Most of the work takes many more extra steps and time than people realize. I think that many parents and teachers get in a “state of being numb” sometimes. They wake up and every minute of their lives are busy till the time they go to bed.
Change of routine is so important for preventing burnout. Often breaking up the routine your daily life makes you appreciate what you have better. At the same time big changes are not always possible due to schedules, deadlines, finances, etc. So it is the little things that we can do in our every day life that can provide the change we all need to feel refreshed. Change can come in many forms. Sometimes is rest and vacation. Other times it is doing the same work but in a different way.
How did you break up your routine lately?