Partnership London SCITT
Sydney Russell School
Dagenham, RM9 5QT
A Bad Case of The Burn-Out
Lockdown has been difficult for everyone. A pinch of social isolation, a splash of Netflix binges, and a sprinkling of pyjamas bottoms is a recipe for a cocktail I do not want to be sipping on anymore. Due to school closures, my shaken-up not stirred cocktail had a new addition, remote learning. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed remote learning when it first started. It was nice to be working from home like all my family was, I was able to wake up and work in my pyjamas, go for a walk in the middle of the day and work into the late hours. However, like most teachers I wasn’t in this job to create and narrate PowerPoints. For me, teaching is about student-teacher interactions and building relationships and this is difficult to do when you are literally talking to your bedroom wall.
After a few weeks, I began to miss the classroom and the demands of remote learning had caught up with me. I felt like I was stuck in this strange purgatory and there was no light at the end of the tunnel. I was struggling with my work and I lost all enjoyment in teaching, which made me doubt both myself and my career decisions. How can something I was so sure of before now be so far removed? I was overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and couldn’t bear the thought of planning another lesson. I can now see that I was struggling with burnout, which was definitely exasperated by the confines of my room. But don’t worry, if you are reading this and worrying about your own teaching career do not let this put you off because I promise you it does get better.
I was given an opportunity to come into support school (the part of the school that was open during closures for both vulnerable and key worker children), teaching psychology taster sessions to both year 7 and year 10. I had forgotten what I enjoyed about teaching, and teaching those sessions had reminded me. It was a good feeling to be able to ask a question and get a response, and to see students excited about my subject once again. In combination with this, I was offered a NQT position at a school that I interviewed for which quadrupled my confidence and gave me a sense of security that all of this was not for nothing. It helped light my flame again and push my burn out aside.
Being stressed out is something that will happen throughout any career, and there are times in teaching which will make anyone double think whether it is the right move for them. Everything happens for a reason, if it is the right move for you- you’ll definitely be reminded why. It is so so important that we take care of ourselves, especially now more than ever.