Many teachers grow frustrated when their students show difficulty paying attention to their lessons. It can be easy to get upset about this after spending your free time crafting an interesting lesson. But this frustration is also evidence of how easy it is to forget what you felt like when you were in your students’ shoes.
Students go from classroom to classroom, taking in large amounts of information, so much so that it can seem overwhelming at times. With just under five minutes to get from one class to another and a short lunch break, students are left with little time to refresh their minds before being asked to sit and take in more information. With this being the case for eight hours a day, five days a week, it is no wonder that many students doze off during class, check their phones and showcase signs of burnout.
Even though teachers don’t often have a say in their students’ tight schedules, they can play a role in alleviating some of this burnout for their students. Doing so will show your students that you care about their wellbeing, and it will encourage them to pay more attention in your classes.
Ways That Teachers Can Alleviate Student Burnout
- Keep laughter alive: Although certain subject matters require more maturity than others, you should still work to make your classroom a space where your students feel free to be themselves and experience joy. The chances are that you became an educator because you were passionate about a subject and wanted to help others find joy in the same way you once did. You should work diligently to keep the laughter alive in your classroom and create a positive learning environment. The more relational you are with your students, the more they will respect you.
- Include physical activity: If you teach elementary school and have your students with you throughout the day, make sure you are incorporating time for them to be active and on their feet. This can either be through taking breaks to stretch or even incorporating physical activity into your lesson. This can also be done in single class periods for upper school classrooms. Have your students play a review game of some sort, have them perform skits and more. These activities will decrease some of their stress and give their brains a break from taking in information, all aspects that alleviate burnout.
- Allow for deeper conversations: Throughout your lesson material, specific questions may arise. If you leave time in your schedule for these questions to be explored, it could allow for some deep intellectual discussions between you and your students. This will enable them to voice their opinions and explore specific topics further, giving them a break from being talked to and actively engaging their brains with the subject matter.