We Need to Take Care of Our Teachers Before They All Burn Out

We Need to Take Care of Our Teachers Before They All Burn Out

We need to support our teacher friends this winter break. They’re exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically. The sugar-crazed last day of school before winter break would have been enough to put most of us in bed for the rest of December. But teachers keep pushing. They’re going to spend their time off frantically trying to catch up on chores and visiting all the people they’re afraid they’ve been neglecting.

Our teacher friends need to rest. Psychology Today describes teacher burnout as “a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, detachment, and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.”  Also according to Psychology Today, 91% of teachers have an excessive workload, with 74% experiencing symptoms of anxiety as a result. About half a million teachers- 15% of the field- leave the profession each year. We don’t want the teachers we care about to be exhausted and stressed. We also don’t want these rockstars to be forced to leave the classroom.

So what can we do? We can help them recharge during winter break. The second half of the school year is no walk in the park. They have to reestablish rules and routines after the break while dealing with increased pressure to make sure their students perform well on standardized testing. So let’s band together to help our teachers return to school a bit more rested and relaxed.

Here’s a letter you can send to your teacher friends. Let them know you see them. Tell them you’re here to help. Don’t wait for them to ask you for help – they won’t do it. Adjust it for the specific needs of your friend, as well as for your own availability and budget. Invite the rest of your squad to join your efforts. Together we can do a lot for teachers in the next couple of weeks.

Dear Friend,

I’m so proud of you for making it to winter break! I know you’re exhausted and with good reason. You’ve done so much in the past five months. Learned dozens of names. Established and enforced rules, boundaries, expectations, and procedures. Attended countless hours of meetings. Managed feelings and behaviors – of both children and adults. Processed pounds of paperwork. Researched the latest best practices for teaching hours past when you meant to go to sleep. Dealt with more random craziness on a daily basis than most people witness in a year.

You basically do at least half a dozen jobs in one – and still manage to take care of your family and be a functioning member of society. You’re amazing. And you deserve to rest, relax and recharge on winter break. Even more importantly, you NEED it. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

You’re used to running on empty. Taking care of everyone else first is what you do. I want to help you put the “break” in winter break. Here are some ideas. Let me know which one appeals to you the most.

Naptime. I’ll walk your dogs and take your kids to the movies. You get into bed and catch up on sleep. You deserve so many naps.

Camp couch. Instead of trying to arrange coffee dates and lunch with all the friends you’ve been missing, let me bring them to you. I’ll pick up pizza, wine and cookies. We’ll all pile up on your couch in our jammies and watch whatever you want.

Spa day. I want to treat you to some pampering. How about a massage? A manicure or pedicure? Maybe a facial? I wish I could do this for you every week all year.

Laundry service. I’ll come over and tackle that laundry mountain. Wash, dry, fold, hang, put away. I’ll do it all with cheer.

Meal prep. I’ll grocery shop and prepare several batches of meals and snacks you can stash in the freezer. This way you’ll have something homemade ready to heat and eat when school is back in session. 

If there’s something you need more, just let me know. I care about you and I want you to be as healthy as possible. You work hard and I appreciate all you do.


Your Friend

Print out this FREE letter for the teacher friend in your life!

We Need to Take Care of Our Teachers Before They All Burn Out
We Need to Take Care of Our Teachers Before They All Burn Out

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Rachael Moshman
Rachael Moshman, M.Ed., an editor at Bored Teachers, is a mom, educator, writer, and advocate for self-confidence. She's been a teacher in classrooms of infants through adult college students. She loves pizza, Netflix and yoga. Connect with her at [email protected]
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