Teacher burnout: how to recover from teaching-related stress

Teachers spend a lot of their time thinking about their students’ wellbeing. So what happens when teachers themselves are struggling? With 84% of teachers describing themselves as stressed in the 2020 Teacher Wellbeing Index, it’s clear that teacher burnout is sadly a widespread issue.

We’ve collected some resources and tips to help you battle the feeling of burnout, and get back to feeling like yourself again.

A teacher's desk

Am I experiencing teacher burnout?

The Guardian found teacher burnout to be a result of sustained stress due to long work hours and large workloads. It can have serious negative effects on an individual’s personal and work life, and can lead to anxiety and depression if action isn’t taken at early stages.

Burnout affects people in different ways, but it generally makes both work-related and everyday activities difficult. Some teachers have trouble concentrating, sleeping and feel impulsive and irritable. Others feel extreme exhaustion and experience frequent mood swings. As a result, many teachers are left feeling isolated and unable to keep up with the demands of their career and everyday life.

Common signs of teacher burnout:

  • Irritability and exhaustion
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of productivity

How can I avoid teacher burnout?

Ask for support

Speaking to someone is always the best port of call if you’re struggling with work-related stress. If you find opening up to those close to you difficult, consider calling Education Support— a free helpline that is open 24/7, run by qualified counsellors. Whether you speak to a colleague, friend or call a helpline, sharing your worries will help lighten the heavy load off your shoulders.

Take mental health days

We take a day off when we have the flu. So why don’t we take time off when burnout takes its toll? If you’re unable to take time off work, consider clearing your diary to relax and recover on the weekend or during the school holidays.

Leave schoolwork at school

Creating clear boundaries is key to maintaining a healthy work/life balance in any profession. Leave any homework marking at your school desk; so your home becomes a relaxing, work-free sanctuary to return to at the end of the day.


Consider a change in career direction

If you’re considering a career change, becoming a Koru Kids nanny is a great way to put your valuable teaching experience to use in a fulfilling career. You work in your own home, and can choose to work 5 days a week, or part-time. Plus, your work day ends when the children head home. We support you through training, help you to find families to work with and manage all the payroll and admin hassle of running a business—like insurance and risk assessments. So, you can put your feet up at the end of the day without any homework marking or lesson planning to worry about.

Moving forward post burnout

Whether you take some time off, confide in a friend or embark on a new career, we hope you’re able to escape the feelings of teacher burnout and carve out some restorative time for yourself.

Education Support have a range of online resources if you’re struggling with anxiety, work-related stress or financial issues. You can also always call their free helpline on 08000 562 561 for immediate, confidential emotional support.

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