Teaching Burnout: Causes and Ways to Manage

Hotlink to "A Guide to Burnout" -- a picture of three piles of papers with a hand sticking out from behind them and waving a flag that says "Help!!!"

Click the image above to go to "A Guide to Burnout" from Healthline.

"Managing Teaching Loads and Finding Time for Reflection" (article) lists a number of the specific factors that can contribute to teaching burnout and suggests a number of life-hacks or self-care strategies "to [better] manage our personal and professional lives."

See also 

1. "Contributing Factors" that Can "Generate Stress and Potential Burnout" 

  • "[U]nclear expectations"
  • "[S]pending many hours in class"
  • "[C]lasses that take more preparation time or having a high number of course preparations in a given semester"
  • "[H]andling classes with large enrollments, planning productive activities, or dealing with difficult or very needy students"
  • "[D]ealing with social and learning issues, such as AIDS, learning disabilities and attention-deficit disorder"
  • "[N]ewer curricular and teaching approaches, including the use of technology"
  • "[T]ime involved in student advising and conferences"
  • "[I]ncreasing demands from administrative, clerical, and committee duties"
  • "[I]increasing diversification of expertise"
  • "[C]ampus politics and meeting the economic necessities of the institution"
  • "[C]hanges in administrative demands or administrative leadership"
  • "[L]ack of financial and personnel support"
  • "[T]ime pressures and deadlines"
  • "[C]ontinual overload of work"
  • "[D]ealing with inequities and inequalities"
  • Challenges with "student attendance, attention, discipline, and lack of motivation" 
  • "Increased workloads, less student contact"
  • "Increasing isolation and emotional sterility"
  • "Keeping up with technology"
  • "[I]ncreased pressures in ... personal lives"

2. Ways to Manage Teaching Loads and Avoid Harmful Stress

Each of the points below is expanded upon in the article with practical, actionable suggestions -- and offers starter wellness ideas to follow-up on with other resources:

  • "Find balance."
  • "Reward yourself."
  • "Establish meaning and relevance."
  • "Develop short- and long-term goals."
  • "Connect with colleagues."
  • "Manage time."
  • "Try to pay attention to detail."
  • "Negotiate a realistic teaching schedule."
  • "Maintain a positive attitude."
  • "Appreciate the joy of teaching and learning."

This article by Rosalyn M. King first appeared in the January 2002 (Vol. 15, No. 1) issue of the APS Observer.

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