How teachers can recharge for the New Year
The teaching profession plays an integral role in our society; teachers are charged with the important duty of educating our next generation.
We also know teaching is a profession that can be acutely affected by burnout. Research has shown 41% of Australian teachers are experiencing high levels of occupational stress.
Key teacher stressors include workload, workplace climate and professional expectations – particularly work excessive hours, poor student behaviour and a lack of involvement at the decision-making level of educational reforms.
A crucial element of avoiding or managing burnout is building resilience – and the end of year break is an important time for teachers to engage in self-care and build resilience for the coming teaching year.
Tips for self-care and managing resilience
With the often frenetic pace of the school year, opportunities for reflection can be hard to come by. Take some time to reflect on the year that has passed. What have you achieved? What are your goals for the New Year? You might even like to try writing a ‘gratitude letter’ to someone who has supported you during the year or collate some meaningful photos to reflect on significant achievements during the year – find some tips on how to do that here.
Engage in resilient thinking
Psychologist Naomi Harrison recommends the practise of resilient thinking, which can be achieved by thinking about what is working well, acknowledging your previous accomplishments, breaking challenges into small goals, focussing on what is within your control and preparing for mistakes.
Take some time for ‘self-care’
Self-care is about nurturing your interests and hobbies – and means something different depending on who you speak to. It might mean reading, exercising, socialising or meditating. Find the activities you enjoy most, and make time for them during the break.
Draw on your support network
The holiday period can be used as an important opportunity to reach out to your broader support network – whether that is family, colleagues or friends. Nurture these supportive relationships to destress and become better prepared for the year ahead.
As a teacher, you make a difference to the lives of so many. But your well-being and self-care is important too; by taking time to reflect and build resilience, you will be better prepared for the challenges a new teaching year will bring.