CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Burnout of any kind can be difficult on one’s day-to-day life, and three West Texas A&M University professors and an Amarillo ISD second-grade teacher recently published research highlighting the importance of self-care as a way to prevent burnout in educators.

Officials detailed that “Keeping Your Wits About You: Reframing Self-Care for Teachers” was recently published in “English in Texas: A Journal of the Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts” by:

  • WT’s Dr. Russell Miller, the Lanna and Bob Hatton Professor of Education and executive director of educator preparation;
  • WT’s Dr. Teri Bingham, professor of education;
  • WT’s Dr. Crystal Hughes, associate professor of curriculum and instruction and director of candidate performance; and
  • Hayden Maas, a second-grade teacher at Avondale Elementary School in the Amarillo Independent School District.

“Teaching is an emotionally, cognitively, and even physically demanding career choice with benefits that feed the soul but starve the wallet. Some teachers enter the profession like an inferno impacting young lives with fervor, only to have their flame extinguished after a few years,” the researchers wrote. “Others follow a calling that slowly depreciates into a job, they are comfortable in, but passionless about.”

Officials noted that the researchers provided information that was published in a 2022 survey which noted that 77% of teachers have “seriously considered” leaving the profession while 72% have taken the steps to leave.

The researchers, officials detailed, highlighted that teachers often face “constant changes in expectations,” including new curriculums, new trainings, and new procedures along with higher student-to-teacher ratios and low salaries within the field.

“Given the significant challenges facing educators, attention needs to be given to ways current educators maintain their motivation and reframe their mindsets,” the researchers wrote. “Educators need viable ways to balance their lives, and new educators need to see teaching as a career-oriented vocation.”

“With careful attention to their own self-care educators may better enjoy their careers, support their students, and continue as career educators,” they wrote. “Reframing the idea of teacher self-care will require a paradigm shift in society. While the idea of putting yourself first may seem abhorrent to many teachers who have dedicated their lives to supporting their student, this paradigm shift grants teachers permission to prioritize their own well-being to maintain a healthy work-life balance.”

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