Classful

Almost every teacher hits the wall at a certain point in the semester when marking piles up, classroom tension runs high, and your stress levels hit the roof.

It can feel overwhelming and you may be tempted simply to pack in this most difficult of careers.

It is important to remember, however, that the wall is simply a temporary obstacle. Soon, your responsibilities will lessen and your stress will start to lift. To get over the wall, you need to find ways of supporting yourself and others through busy time and not get teacher burnout.

We’ve put together a few tips to refer back to when the going gets tough:

1. Try to avoid conflict with administrators

When the semester gets busy and stressful, teachers and administrative staff can sometimes get into conflict. Indeed, administrators’ suggestions to tackle important problems may not be compatible with the realities of the classroom, and it can seem as if you’re in a constant battle of wills. The best thing to do about this during times of stress is simply to stay out of the way of administrative staff. Any disagreements you have about the running of your classroom can be dealt with during a less stressful time when you are in a better frame of mind.

2. Plan something to look forward to

In the midst of a busy semester, vacation time can seem as if it is light-years away. Planning a fun trip for the end of the school year is a great way to motivate yourself during times of stress, however. If you start to feel a little overwhelmed by a heavy workload and misbehaving students, simply think about your upcoming trip. It may just help to get you through the day!

3. Set aside a day to power through your marking

When you’re flooded with work, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to power through the hundreds of papers and essays you have to mark. Putting in a catch up day, however, is a great way to motivate yourself. The day may be hectic and even unpleasant, but the sense of achievement you feel after catching up on piles of work can be hugely cathartic. You can even treat yourself once it is all over.

If you need help focusing during your catch up day, check out this article.

4. Be proactive when it comes to communicating with parents

Receiving messages from irate parents about the standard of their children’s grades can make a tough semester even more stressful. To avoid this eventuality, be proactive with communicating information about students’ progress. A quick email or phone call about dropping grades or missed assignments can help to reverse issues before they get serious and will demonstrate to parents that you are passionate about helping their child succeed.

5. Don’t let other teachers negatively impact your mood

One of the best parts about a teaching job is finding like-minded colleagues that you can bond with. However, it is not uncommon for teachers to clash.

If you find that a colleague negatively impacts your mood with unkind comments, simply do your best to ignore them. Coming into conflict can impact your mood and make a difficult semester even tougher.

Do your best to spend time with colleagues that brighten up your day!

6. Boost your body’s immune system

The body’s immune system can often take a bit of a bruising during times of stress and you may find yourself much more susceptible to colds and other viruses.

To combat this, make sure to:
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Get as much sleep as possible
  • Spare some time to have fun
  • Take some immune-boosting supplements.

You could even try incorporating these immune-boosting foods into your diet.