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Burnt Out


Full Member
I am unbelievabley burnt out! I did nothing this weekend for school (we only have a two day week next week) because I am just exhausted from being a first year teacher!

Is anyone else feeling this way? How are you dealing with it? I don't want to start slacking and getting lazy but this weekend I simply could not focus enough to get myself to work on "school stuff." Any suggestions? Does this ever go away?


New Member
same here

I feel that way so often. I'm also a new teacher when it comes to the weekend all I want to do is lay on my couch and do nothing. Some weekends I don't go into work and that's okay. If I know that it's been a rough week I stay just a little longer at work each wed-fri and plan for the next week so that I won't have to come in over the weekend.

Another thing I do is that I'm constantly playing music in my room because that helps me to relax and have fun even when the students are around. I say find something that you can do in the classroom that puts a smile on your face and the week goes by much quicker and a little less stressful. Good luck!


Senior Member
Play simon says and have the kids show you their biggest smiles:D That makes me remember why I love my job. I have a toddler at home whom requires full attention, and I'm expecting a baby in the spring, which leaves me doubly exhausted. I've realized the most school planning I can get done at home is sharpening pencils. Somehow I've found a routine at school, and use every second of my planning time. I don't grade all the little papers, sometimes I just recycle them. I devote an hour and a half before school each morning, but need to leave right away in the afternoon to pick up my little one. I guess having a kid has given me an excuse not to feel guilty for not devoting every ounce of myself to teaching. Just set a limit for yourself and say it's okay if things aren't perfect. I still dream about work everynight though.


Senior Member
Me, too

I am burned out more this year than any other, and I've been teaching eight years. I think it's because of this insane, idiotic school calendar. We haven't had a day off since Labor Day.
Don't feel bad about not doing school work on the weekend. It's okay to take a weekend and be lazy. You need that time to relax and rejuvenate.
It won't go away. I stopped trying after my first year. After Thanksgiving, I'm usually renewed and recharged until Christmas Break.
Hang in there! We need good teachers like you.:D


Senior Member
Our schedule is crazy too

Not so much as the lack of days off but we haven't a more than one or two weeks so far that are intact and without interruption--we've had holidays, half days (teacher workdays), assemblies, field trips, parties, etc.--it is always "for a good cause"--but it is hard to keep on track [or keep the kids on track] with the schedule different everyday or week...


Senior Member
Me too!!

I'm a second year teacher (new to 5th grade) and I am totally burnt out. We have only had one day off since school started. I hate it when I see all of the other counties off for every holiday and teacher workdays and we are at school....like usual. We dont' even have a day without students for parent-teacher conferences, we have them until 7:00pm on a Thursday. They can't give us a break. And it feels like I don't even get weekends off because I am usually either worrying about my lessons the next week or trying to figure out what I am going to do. 1 hour and 15 minutes left for the day, then Thanksgiving Break!!!


Full Member
add me to the list

I'm sorry to hear you're all feeling the stress...but it IS nice to know I'm not alone. I'm a new teacher as well. I teach Reading, Language Arts and Social Studies to 6th graders. I love my kids and I love my job but I was making myself crazy.

In Language Arts we had a fairy tale project...the kids publish a book. It's a great project but it is a LOT of work. I learned a lot from this experience. I learned that I need to set mini-deadlines on big projects. Of course I didn't know all the steps involved since it was my first time.

I felt like we were way far behind so I was giving up all but 10 or 15 minutes of my lunch time so kids could work on it. And I was giving extra help in the mornings. Every morning.

I have learned (the hard way) to pick 2 days out of the week to be available. I'm thinking Tuesdays and Thursdays. No more lunch time projects, either. As a teacher, you really do need the time to yourself!

Thanks for listening, ladies. Let's hope we all feel better!



Junior Member
Add me to the "burned out" list

I don't know how anyone does this for an extended period of time and doesn't feel burned out. I did a full year of student teaching, and my principal keeps telling me I'm two or three years ahead of most first year teachers, but I still feel like I'm drowning. I go to work early, I stay late, and I work at home. I try to go in to work every other weekend instead of every weekend like I was in the beginning. I've really forced myself to realize that it's only a job---it's not, and shouldn't be, my entire life.

The best re-engergizer for me is to just relax with my husband, or go window shopping, or even just read a good book. Reading a book every two weeks has really let me "escape" my feelings of disappointment and overwhelmedness.

Good luck to you...


Junior Member
No lunchtime work for me!

I do come early, stay late, and work weekends but there is no way I am having kids at lunch! That is where I put my foot down. I really think we need that time to just breathe.

:s) It is tempting but I have to have that time to talk to adults.


Senior Member
Pace yourself

This is what I'm learning. I made the mistake of keeping students in for lunch last week due to no homework or absentee issues. I felt I needed to do it, but by 2:00 I was starving and my back was killing me from not resting or sitting down for six hours. We do need adult time and break time. We can't be "on" for hours and hours! I'm realizing, too, that the students are really just passing through my class on the way to something else. Learning is important, and I give a lot of attention to my lesson plans, but the kids are going to survive if everything is less than perfect. They will not be permanently damaged! But I might be, if I don't pace myself and make sure I have family time with my husband and 3 kids!


New Member
I hear you!

I'm a first year teacher too and I thought it was just me. It seemed that Thanksgiving break was just too short. I don't have time to hardly do anything. I'm learning to stop giving up my lunch time everyday to students. On the weekends, I try not to do a lot of work, but it's difficult. It seems that if I don't I will be so behind the week to come. I'm wondering the same thing...will this ever go away?


Junior Member
Burn out

My first year I was at school 10-12 hours everyday. By March I developed a terrible attitude! The secret I think to a first year even though it may be an exciting activity or sound like something you want to try, DON'T! Stick to your curriculum guide this year without adding new things. Next year you can introduce those exciting activities one at a time. Your students will still learn what they are suppose to learn from the curriculum. But if you get totally burnt out your students will suffer! I am not an expert by any means. This is my second year teaching and I am fully enjoying it and only staying about an hour after and come in an hour early. I just added Book Clubs this week. It took me a while to gather enough books and set up a rubric but the kids are loving it and I am not stressing! The first year is always the worst!

world citizen

New Member

It's good to hear I'm not the only one. I wouldn't say I'm burned out but some weeks are worse than others. This week we had a snow day so I was able to use that to be lazy and do NOTHING since I was planned and hadn't brought anything extra home to work on. That really helped so this weekend I could relax more and do some school stuff. So today- sunday, I'm taking some extra time to just read some of my college text books and look back for maybe some more exciting activities, I dont have to do them, but if its something easy and fun to add, I think I will.
I definitely agree though, some weekends I can't bring myself to do anything for school... so I stay after Wednesday through Friday late. Like supermom said, I end up working 10-12 hours some days. I try not to do this every week, just vary it up and not feel guilty if I just can't stay FOREVER some weeks. It'll all even out in the end, right?
The important thing is I'm doing my best and I know my kids are learning. If I pace myself, in the long run they will benefit more, because if I work 7 days a week 10 hr days on this, I will definitely be burned out by Feb!!! So when I lay down and chill some nights, I think yknow this is for my kids :) haha... so they can have a happy teacher


Junior Member
Totally agree!

I am a second year teacher and I feel really burned out right now. I do feel a lot more organized than I did last year though. But, I still work about 10-12 hours most days of school plus weekends. If I don't, I feel way behind. But, I do try to take a little time out each day for me. I like exercising so I started running in the morning before work. I've noticed that when I do, I have a lot more energy throughout the day and I'm in a much better mood.

I am so ready for Christmas break. I'm thinking about taking a mental health day this week!


Senior Member
Organization and classroom management are really the keys to avoiding burn-out, but everyone feels that way at one time or another. The more you do now to prepare, plan and organize, the better off you'll be for next year. Just keep your chin up and look forward to the winter break!<!--christmasA-->


New Member

All teachers at our school have to eat with our students at lunch time. Even though in our memorandum it says we should have a 30 minute duty free lunch, we have 20 minutes of eating with our students. Otherwise they would start fighting.