’s Methodology Debates: Teacher Burnout

3963.jpgIf you find yourself cutting corners on lesson plans, getting annoyed with students, feeling exhausted or wondering what you are even doing teaching English…you maybe suffering from teacher burnout.

Lindsay Clandfield explains what burnout is, why it happens, and what you can do about it in the latest’s Methodology Debate.

Younger teachers and those going into the job with highly idealistic motives are more likely to suffer from burnout than their “opposites”, and burnout is, as you would probably expect, also related to issues like difficult working conditions and classroom problems like lack of recognition or not seeing the possibility for change.

There’s good news though: there are some remedies for burnout!
What can you do?
Reduce your working hours (the author admits this can be a challenge);
Try out new approaches;
Develop yourself professionally however you can – this could include observing others and asking them to observe you, or reading up on an facet of teaching that interests you;
Adopt healthier living habits.

My take on these? I think they are fairly common sense solutions, and some are not really within a teacher’s control…but I think it’s valuable to realize there are steps you can take to deal with burnout yourself. A solution doesn’t require the situation to change.

Is the typical EFL teacher likely to face burnout? In one sense, EFL teachers do often work some long and hectic hours, and at any given time, a great number of EFL teachers will be new teachers, and starting a new job is usually stressful…so yes. On the other hand though, there are many different motives for teaching EFL and personalities, and having a new country to explore may offset some of what would have been stress.

Have you experienced burnout?