What about some mental health tips and tricks for teachers?

Teachers have more responsibilities and duties than ever before. This includes building emotional strength and healthy students.

Unfortunately, the society neglects to take care of or even talk about teachers’ mental and emotional health. Two major problems have resulted from this neglect: teacher burnout and a shortage of qualified teachers.

Many educators find it increasingly difficult to keep up with changing demands due to their increased responsibilities. A recent survey of more than 30,000 teachers conducted by the American Federation of Teachers found that 75% of respondents said they don’t have enough staff to do their work and that 78% of them are often exhausted at the end of each day.

Three-quarters of teachers feel exhausted and overworked because they have taken on new initiatives without any training or professional development.

Concerning the workforce, teacher education enrollment fell by 240,000 (a 35% decrease) between 2009-2014. However, around eight percent of teachers leave the workforce each and every year, including many who are far below the average retirement age.

To stop this exodus and to keep the nation’s top teachers in the classroom, it is important to make sure they receive the support and development that they need to be happy and healthy in their personal and professional lives.

Supporting Teachers’ Mental Health

A recent University of Phoenix survey about mental health found that 31% of Americans surveyed considered social stigmas to be a barrier to accessing mental health care. This is an important and troubling statistic for educators since many teachers might feel that seeking counseling indicates weakness or inability to manage their workload.

It is a fact that most high-performing teachers have difficulty balancing their work and family obligations. In fact, more than half of these teachers burn out within five years. This is yet another reason why industry professionals are keen to encourage teachers to seek help so that they can be happier, more productive, and more fulfilled in their jobs.

Mental health resources such as continuing education programs and specialized counseling should be prioritized to provide support for educators across the country.

We can make mental health care more accessible to educators and help them grow as professionals and individuals. At the same time, we can eliminate the stigma associated with seeking treatment for mental illness.

Here are some other tips for teachers on mental health.

15 Tips for Teachers on Mental Health

1. Mental health should be a priority

In order to be successful in teaching, it is essential that mental health and wellness practices are included early on in teacher training. Higher education and state certification boards should take responsibility for establishing these programs. This will ensure that mental well-being is a top priority in schools and that teachers have the tools and resources to succeed.

Good teachers quit.

2. Develop and seek out resources, programs, or policies.

The role of district leaders is also important in creating mental health and wellness culture in schools throughout the country. Schools must also invest in their most valuable resource, teachers, by investing in their mental, physical, as well as social health. Administrators can make a significant, positive impact on teachers’ lives by rewarding them for their efforts (even the smallest).

3. In a healthy way, frame mental health in your own head.

If you prefer a term like “well-being”, don’t refer to it as “mental health”.

4. Develop a healthy PLN.

Strong professional network – both inside and outside the school building.

5. You are in the right spot.

They are comfortable in a job they have been offered. This could be in the form of a teacher’s position, their school policies, or even their grade. Every job is not for everyone. Although people might tell you that your kids need you, you must take care of yourself. Otherwise, it’s not sustainable.

6. Set boundaries

Clear boundaries between home and school should be maintained as much as possible.

7. Avoid toxicities

Avoidance of things-people, departments, committees, events, etc.-that, are ‘toxic’ while developing strategies to deal with other not-toxic-but-still-challenging teaching situations

8. Your purpose is what you should be focusing on

Remember your purpose in being a teacher. This is why you chose to become a teacher. If that vision is not possible, try to reconcile it with your current circumstances. If you are unable to realize that vision, this will give you an idea of what might be next.

9. As a teacher, you should have a growth mindset.

Students and teachers can benefit from growth mindsets.

10. Teach with gratitude

As much gratitude as you can, teach.

11. Start small if you are able.

Try to focus on the positive and try to have more good than bad every day. That’s a good start.

12. Take care of yourself too.

You can take care of your body by exercising, doing yoga, and getting enough sleep. Do whatever it takes to make your body feel great.

13. If you need help, get help.

Do not be a hero. There’s no reason not to seek formal mental health support, whether it be medication or therapy. Get it. Don’t wait to be truly unhappy.

14. Live a full life other than teaching.

Live a life that is not centered on teaching. It should be full of creativity, hope, people, and possibility. It doesn’t matter how gratifying teaching can be, and it is not worth your health.

15. Do not feel trapped.

Never get stuck in a rut where you feel you have to teach or give up. There is always a way out. If you feel stuck, it can make it seem worse than it actually is.

Teachers work every day to help children grow up emotionally healthy and strong, preparing them for the future leaders and change-makers. We must support educators’ mental health as their responsibilities grow. The ‘whole teacher’ must be supported.

We can provide the emotional support that teachers need and deserve to grow professionally and make them happier. This is all while helping to combat the growing teacher shortage in America.