Congratulations! You made it to Winter Break! It’s time to relax and celebrate. Even if you do not celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or any winter holidays, you still need a break. Read on for 18 tips to help prevent teacher burnout. Take the time to rest, play, and rejuvenate. You need to arrive back at school ready to go in a couple of weeks.
Tip #1 | Do NOT Do ANY School Related Work Until After Christmas
Focus on your family, celebrate, and relax. You NEED a break. This is the best thing you can do now for the students you will see again in January. Over break, it is YOUR job to prevent teacher burnout.
Tip # 2 | Make a Family Schedule
If you haven’t already done it, take time to create a holiday schedule. Take care of any last minute details. Do NOT over schedule. Be sure to leave plenty of down time, prioritize but be flexible. Unexpected things can be the most fun! Leave yourself time to be spontaneous.
Tip #3 | Participate in a Family Tradition Or Start a New One
Bake cookies, go caroling, go to a movie, go see Grandma, help serve food at a local shelter. Today is a great day to participate in a family tradition. Don’t have one? It is time to start a new tradition.
Tip #4 | Enjoy Family and Friends
Enjoy your family and friends. Today, first and foremost, you are a parent, a spouse, a daughter or a son, a sister or a brother, and always a friend.
Tip #5 | Merry Christmas
Tip 5 is that there is no tip today. I have taken the day off and so should you. Just have FUN!
Tip #6 | Plan Some Quiet Time
The days leading up to Christmas can seem like a whirlwind. Today, on the first day after Christmas, plan some quiet time for yourself and your family, especially if you have children. Create some quiet special moments today.
Tip #7 | Inventory and Schedule Tasks to be Completed by the Time School Resumes
Make a list of everything you need to do before school starts again. Take a look at your schedule and write each task into your planner. 𝗗𝗼 𝗡𝗢𝗧 𝘀𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗹𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝘆𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗸. Plan to have everything done one day prior to the end of your break.
Lack of time and too much to do is the biggest source of stress. Do NOT leave everything to the last minute.
P.S. Don’t forget your classroom. Is it organized for the first day? You definitely do not want to walk into a mess if you left it that way. Organizing you room can be a family event. Play on the school playground or in the gym after you are done.
Tip #8 | Play a Game
Our family is getting several new games this year. (It is a good thing they don’t read my blog.) It doesn’t matter what games you play – Candyland, Yetti in My Spaghetti, Monopoly, 5 Crowns, WordSpiel, Uno, or even Hide & Seek. Play together, have fun, and make memories.
Tip #9 | Get Outside and Move!
This year the weather is supposed to be uncharacteristically warm for us. There will be no building snowmen today. It doesn’t matter if you are building a snowman, walking on the beach (or around the block), or hiking in the woods, get outside and get some exercise.
If all else fails and your weather just won’t cooperate, find a place to move around inside. Go walk at a mall or other large building. We are lucky. We can walk in our state capitol building and sometimes we do. Or go to a local gym and run and play. Even more fun, call a few teacher friends and meet up at the school gym. Exercise is a key element to help prevent teacher burnout. Just move!
Tip #10 | Look for Joy
Make it a point to “Look for Joy” today. You are not allowed to complain even once. If you have a complaining thought, turn it around into something to be grateful for. Look for Joy!
Tip #11 | Start the New Year Fresh
Happy New Year’s Eve! No matter what the past year has held for you, commit to starting fresh. Work to build on successes and strengthen weaknesses. Do NOT dwell on failures of the past.
My favorite quote of ALL time is this one by Maya Angelou. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.”
Start fresh and do better.
Tip #12 | Take Down Decorations or Don't
Happy New Year! It is NOT a big deal if all your decorations are not down and boxed up by the end of the day. I plan on enjoying my Christmas tree through the weekend. We have a performance which is going to take a lot of time. That means our tree will probably not come down until the next weekend and that’s ok.
Prioritize. Have you kept up with your school work? If you have been following each Teacher Burnout Holiday Tip, you will remember that we planned and scheduled your school work into your calendar. If you have gotten a little behind, catch up today. But, remember, NO SCHOOL work on the day before classes resume.
So, take down and put away whatever decorations you want and have time for. Otherwise, enjoy them for a while longer. That is my plan.
Tip #13 | Find Ways to Be More Efficient
Take a few minutes today and brainstorm ways you can be more efficient at home and at school.
𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗹 – Do you have monthly and yearly outlines of what you need to accomplish in your classroom? Can you batch routine tasks? Can you delegate some simple routine tasks to volunteers, student helpers, or family members? Are your bulletin boards planned out? Do you have artistic students that would enjoy helping? YOU do not have to do it all.
𝗛𝗼𝗺𝗲 – Would it help you to cook meals on the weekend and reheat during the week? Do you need to come up with some more slow cooker recipes so supper is done when you get home? Do you just need to make a weekly menu and go to the store once a week instead of running by every day? Do you need to work out some car pooling arrangements to help get your kids to music rehearsals or sports practices?
Remember, this is suppose to help things run smoother for you not create more work. The word of the day is EFFICIENT.
P.S. Don’t forget to keep up with your school work during break. You want to be completely done before break ends. NO school work on the last day of break.
Procrastination feeds teacher burnout. No procrastination allowed.
Tip #14 | Relax All by Yourself
Set aside a little time just for yourself today. Read a book, take a long bath, take a walk, watch a show you have been wanting to see. It can be anything you want to do that is quiet and relaxing. Very soon, there will be MANY students all needing your attention. Relax a bit today.
P.S. In Teacher Holiday Tip # 7, I believe, you scheduled your school work throughout break. Don’t forget to keep up with it. You want to be completely done tomorrow. NO school work on the last day of break.
Tip #15 | Read Just for FUN
You might have chosen to do some reading yesterday when you were relaxing by yourself. Of course, we should be reading very day. But, we know that reading just for fun is one of the things that sometimes gets pushed aside.
If you have children, you are already reading to them every day and it is FUN! Work in a little extra reading today, either by yourself or with the kids. You might even want to take a trip to the library.
P.S. If you are following my Teacher Burnout Holiday Tips, TODAY is the day. You want to be completely done with all school work by the end of the day.
Tip #16 | Be Grateful for ALL of Your Students
Take a few minutes to be grateful for ALL of your students today. Be grateful that YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE in their lives.
Comment “YES” at the end of this post if you have a story where you know that you have made a difference in a difficult student’s life.
P.S. If you have been following all of my Teacher Burnout Holiday Tips, you know that you should have been done with all school work yesterday. Today is about remembering how you really do make a difference and strengthening yourself for the semester to come.
Lay your clothes out. Make your lunch. You are back on duty tomorrow.
P.S.S. If you aren’t done, dig in and “git ‘er done.” You are still on duty tomorrow and a lot of impressionable young people are counting on you.
Tip #17 | Bonus Tip
Bonus Tip – Enjoy the little things. Life is made up of LOTS of little things – a new planner and pens, a sunrise or sunset, snuggling under a warm blanket, listening to music as you make supper. Enjoy the simple things and be grateful. You will be happier if you do.
Tip #18 | Welcome Back, It's Show Time!
Welcome back! There are lots of impressionable, young students depending on you. Dig down deep, SMILE, and rise to the occasion.
Prevent Teacher Burnout
Teaching is a tough job! There is no doubt about it.
You can do it. You can prevent teacher burnout and make teaching your career. But you have to be vigilant. It sneaks up on you. Stay Buckled In, Education is a Wild Ride but it can be a very rewarding career. Teachers really do make a difference.
Do you have more tips to help others prevent teacher burnout?