Community//

How Schools Can Reduce Educator Burnout

Cathyrn Ilani on how schools can tackle the problem of educator burnout.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

If you’re a leader at your school, you are probably concerned about educator burnout. Burnout is a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that often leads employees to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and cynical about their work (even if they once loved it). Today’s teachers are especially susceptible to experiencing burnout, as they are presented with an ever-increasing workload and lack of support. 

The result of the educator burnout epidemic is that we have teachers who are prematurely leaving their positions. Statistics tell us that about 17% of teachers are leaving their jobs within the first five years. Each year, more and more teachers are leaving the profession for reasons unrelated to retirement. This turnover costs the US around $2.2 billion each year and leaves students across the country without trained educators. 

Here are some ways schools can reduce educator burnout and encourage teachers to remain in their careers for the long-term. 


1. Avoid micromanaging 

If possible, allow your school’s teachers to have more control over their work. In some other countries, such as Finland, schools have moved toward increased levels of teacher autonomy and seen positive results. Try allowing educators to write their own curriculums. If teachers have some say in how they work and teach, they are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and less likely to experience burnout. 


2. Create a system that supports teachers’ wellbeing

Creating a school system that encourages teachers to take care of themselves can also be extremely beneficial to reducing educator burnout. Teachers are notorious for pouring into others and putting their personal wellbeing on the backburner. Providing teachers with amenities such as mindfulness practices will help your entire staff to become more self-aware and will leave each of them feeling supported and happier. You can also consider offering optional courses, yoga classes, or journaling practices. Whatever options you decide on, keep them at-will rather than mandatory. 

3. Talk about burnout

Also, be sure to discuss burnout regularly. Talk about the warning signs and encourage your teachers to confide in you when they believe they are experiencing symptoms. Set up routine check-ins with all employees. Do your best to create a positive culture where teachers look out for one another and can inform administration when they believe a coworker is struggling. The goal should be to identify the signs of burnout and address them before the educator has hit rock bottom. Also, maintain an open-door policy that encourages teachers to come to you when they feel they are being demoralized. Lastly, make sure sufficient resources and support are provided to teachers who report that they are nearing burnout.  
To solve a problem as large as teacher burnout, everyone needs to be on board. School systems need to work with their educators to address the issue. Only when this type of collaboration becomes the new normal can we expect to see teachers remaining in their classrooms until retirement.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

4 Ways to Avoid Educator Burnout

by Manjula Reddy Nookala
DGLImages/ Shutterstock
How Teachers Thrive//

Teachers are Switching Careers. Here’s Why.

by Jennifer Harshman
Community//

Tips to Stop Educator Burnout

by Glenn Wood Plainfield 202

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.