Some time ago a couple of tweets came from my PLN that caught my eye. Blair Richards (@ouiouicestlavie) commented, “4 years into teaching and I’m exhausted. Any wisdom on how to make this a sustainable career without killing myself?”
Then Katie Hellerman (@klhellerman) wrote, “I love
#TPRS and the results. But even after 3 years I find it to be an exhausting format. Any suggestions to fight TPRS fatigue?”
This is a common complaint particularly among those who start using comprehensible input methods (the only kind that work!) and developing their own materials (after the textbooks have failed). Especially if you’re trying to balance family or any kind of personal life with communicative teaching, it can quickly get out of hand. I know teachers who have left the field simply because they felt doing it right was just too demanding.
What are some common complaints teachers have when they’re burning out?
- “I spend all my free time finding materials.”
- “I’m overwhelmed with grading communicative assessments for large classes.”
- “If I don’t plan every minute I seem unorganized and class gets out of hand.”
Sound familiar? So, what’s the solution?
Tips for burning bright
How do you get it all done right and stay strong and balanced in the process? Here’s one tip to get you started. Then, check back for the next four Fridays for more installments in this series. You’ll get a total of nine tips that I think will help you stay sane and effective at the same time.
- Put your sanity first.
It seems intuitive to make your students and your class the main thing, but really, if you’re going crazy and too tired to function, you’re not doing them much good anyway. Also, if you burn out in 2 years and never return to teaching, the profession has lost a potentially bright star for the future. Remind yourself that keeping your sanity is making your students a priority – they need you clear and professional. Get enough rest. Eat well and enough. Take breaks. Take vacations.
What other tips are useful for you to keep from burning out? Share them here, take what I’ve shared and please, make communicative learning work for you as well as your students.
Photo credit: Luis Silva