How to avoid teacher burnout?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by vivalavida, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. vivalavida

    vivalavida Companion

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    Sep 28, 2014

    Hello! I am a first-year teacher drowning with work...nights, weekends, all the time! I try to take one day completely off of work each weekend, but my Sundays are FULL work days. It's completely exhausting. I know the first year is supposed to be the worst, and all these materials I'm creating will be ready to grab in future years (hopefully), but does anyone have any tips or tricks to save time!? I have seen posts from several of you who have mentioned that you leave work at school and don't bring it home. I just don't see how that could ever be possible, even after a few years! Looking for any advice...as I don't want to be another teacher to completely burn out in the first couple of years!
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sep 28, 2014

    • Borrow from other teachers.
    • Borrow from web sites (AtoZ, Share My Lesson, and Teachers Pay Teachers are excellent resources).
    • Take time for yourself, including having at least one non-school hobby. Right now I'm in grad school, but when I'm done at the end of next month, I'm going back into the local amateur theater scene.
     
  4. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I wish I could answer this question...pulling 80-90+ hour weeks thus far myself. My team (and everyone else around me) keeps telling me to find a balance, but I have no idea what that looks like :)
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Sep 28, 2014

    One way to lesson your load is to grade fewer assignments, grade some in class with students, grade fewer questions on the test ( math, for instance. 2 or 3 problems of the same type would tell you if the concept is mastered). Give classroom participation grades, completion grades for homework.
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Sep 28, 2014

    Another trick I have used is to get to school an hour before everyone else. A whole hour to get planning and activities finished without any interruptions. I went home at my normal contract hour for years using this method.
     
  7. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Sep 28, 2014

    In some districts, feedback is required on all student homework (whether graded specifically or not - I always just give a complete/late/missing, and then just give pointers on the paper), and certain assessments must be done and graded by you. Lots of work, though I know that things are well thought out with our district.
     
  8. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Sep 28, 2014

    I give feedback. A quick check plus, check, or check minus. Students know a check plus is a good job, check means they could do better, and a check minus is unacceptable. This is done at the beginning of the period each day and takes about 3 minutes while they work on their starters.

    To the OP you will learn lots of tricks.

    As others have said, find ways to limit your grading. I have students self-grade their homework, they peer grade lab notebooks, and quizzes, and then most exams are multiple choice that can be scanned into the computer automatically.

    My grading system for projects are easy: a letter grade based on their amount of effort and the quality of their work. I don't fill in a rubric. I may leave a one or two word comment here or there.

    I just toss the starters after collecting them each week.

    I have students total points on their homework so I don't have to. I just type the number they totaled in.

    The big time-hogs of grading in my class are essay questions on tests, where I put time into reading them carefully to assess for understanding, and actual essays. These come around rarely. I do most of my assessment through the peer graded quizzes which I walk around and look at how they're doing, or through formative assessments such as having them answer homework questions or starter questions.
     

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