Making teaching a happy profession…

Education breathes through the teachers. What happens when Teacher Burnout and Demoralization are high?

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Have you ever wished that you could spy the mind of the teachers and figure out what drives them join the profession?

We have looked into that most teachers run into job stress at least three to five times a day. Hopeless education reforms, lack of parental cooperation, and squeeze from school for non-teaching tasks cause stress to the teachers.

What is teacher Burnout?

Continuous physical and emotional fatigue rising from undue demands on energy, pointing to frustration, and restlessness develops into a disorder called burnout.

Situations leading to burnout

Students’ upsetting behavior, various professional commitments, and threats crush the teachers. And in schools, unfair sharing of duties and powers adds to more rage. These are some main reasons for teachers’ burnout. Even the best teachers live through the sign of burnout.

Burnout leading to poor teaching

Can you trust stressed teachers give so-called quality education? With poor zeal and high frustrations, a stressed teacher can never enjoy teaching but be focused only to get the prescribed syllabus done.

International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health gave a bold evidence of Indian education policymakers’ willful inaction by reporting 84% of burnout teachers in India.

Difference between burnout and demoralization
  • We need to separate burnout and demoralization.
  • Stressful teaching in taxing schools is the leading cause of teacher burnout. It is natural and related to teacher personality.
  • Demoralization comes about when the job of teaching changes to what teachers never expected.
  • Senseless Education Reforms with a political aim cause the teachers to become helpless and confused.
  • Profit Marked Policy of private schools make the teachers compromise with teachers’ dignity and leave them frustrated and demoralized.
Alarming situation

Decreasing quality of teaching and increasing students’ aggressiveness are some severe aftereffects of teacher burnout.

Teacher burnout and demoralization are both hacking off the education framework in India. The situation calls for urgent action or it will harm the plan of the coming generation.

All stakeholders to unite and act

Policymakers, parents, principals, school managements and, teachers should come together to solve the problem of teacher burnout and stand firm to create a pleasing and encouraging setting for the teachers, for ourselves, for our students, for our country, and our world.

Following suggestions may help the teachers to prevent/avoid burnout:

Quality finding attitude: There is a need to move from fault finding to quality finding attitude. We dispraise more but praise less. Make a habit of finding some good in everyone and everything. Hold positive discussions in the staff room or out of the campus.

Appreciate to feel better: When you want to feel better. Look around for something to please you. Focus on the object, think about its beauty, usefulness or any quality. Stay focused for some time then you may try for another pleasing object. You will feel better.

Professional growth: Spare an hour every Sunday, and plan for the coming week. You will have enough time to get your teaching resources and solve expected problems. Take every opportunity to attend workshops, conferences, and teacher training programs. Search on the internet for teaching resources and update yourself on education trends developing in your country and the world. Now, it is easy to present at online education conferences from one’s home.

Note of positive aspects: Pen down the name or brief report of someone or something that you cheer every time. It could be the name of your pet, your favourite shopping mall, your best friend or the person whom you go for. As you focus upon the name or title that you have written, ask yourself. What do I like about it? Why do I like it? What are my positive aspects about it? Note down the thoughts that come in response to your questions. Then write another name or title of someone or something that pleases you. Repeat the course for 20 minutes daily.

Be happy to share happiness: In a routine, teachers call a parent and tell how bad their student is. You need to find a bunch of your students who get your liking. Call a parent and tell him about improvement. Get your students trying to improve. And compliment him/her and his parents on something he/she is doing well. Show gratitude for an administrator, or colleague by sending them an appreciative note.

Visualize pleasant scenes: We keep our minds all the time busy thinking about some object, incident, people, or condition that we see or experience. And so, the same situation remains unchanged. Thoughts matching the existing situation will bring back the same. The universe vibrates with our every positive/negative thought living now or imagining and answers the same in compliance with the Law of Attraction. So, apply the Law of Attraction and practice picturing pleasant scenes in your mind to attract them.

Policymakers, parents, principals, school managements and, teachers should come together to solve the problem of teacher burnout and stand firm to create a pleasing and encouraging setting for the teachers, for ourselves, for our students, for our country, and our world.

Indra Raj Pathak is in the field of education for the last 28 years. He has taught, evaluated, mentored, appraised and headed schools. He has conducted and organised several workshops on varied themes in many states of India. He is specialised in multi-sensory teaching and innovative teaching practices and has presented his paper on “Transformation Pedagogy” in an International Conference organised by IIT- New Delhi in 2012. He is M.A. ( EnglishLitt.) with the degree in Education. Presently, he is Director-Owner of Universal Setu Educational Consultancy Services in Jalandhar.