Most teachers have times when job fatigue takes its toll, and it leads to questioning whether the rewards outweigh the headaches. But while teacher burnout looms at the end of challenging days, weeks or even school years, you can help ward it off with some solid tips from others who have “been there.”  Based on market research and feedback from our Educator Advisory Panel, here are five “must dos” to stay positive about your profession.

Stick To Your Classroom Rules and Routines

Things can derail in a hurry in a room filled with rowdy students.  Don’t waver from enforcing the classroom rules you established at the beginning of the school year.  When your students know what’s expected of them, they’re much more likely to behave as a group when you have to lay down the law.

Sometimes, you have to be a disciplinarian; other times, it’s more important to know when to lighten up. Share laughs, jokes and stories about yourself with your students. Smile when you’re teaching (even if you don’t feel like it). Consider giving your class a “day off” from the curriculum to just do something fun. Fun is contagious. Plus, it helps your students see you as a real person.
We know those papers won’t grade themselves.  Still, you owe it to yourself to consider your workday done when you leave the school.  Use your home as your safe haven from the day’s stresses. Enjoy your time with family and friends, watch a good movie or work on your favorite hobby.  And if you must take care of business, consider going into work early when your mind and body are fresh.
Your physical health is critical to your emotional stability.  Find something you enjoy for exercise, and make sure you do it every day.  Since you’re on your feet most of the day, wear comfortable shoes in the classroom.  Get plenty of sleep – don’t be afraid to take a nap as soon as you get home, and by all means go to bed early if you’re tired.
Educational funding, school policies and disengaged parents ... understand that many of the more frustrating aspects of your job are simply beyond your control.  Fortunately, where you do have the most control is in your own classroom.  Focus your energies there.  Create realistic expectations about what you can accomplish personally and professionally.

WBTL-0705 (7/14)

© 2017 Horace Mann Educators Corporation

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