Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ESL teacher burnout

Well not much to report from Jeju, just a lot of rain. It kind of crimps my usually active lifestyle. Anyway, I've had lots of time to read and think and relax. Teaching makes me feel tired and by the end of the semester I feel like I couldn't possibly do another week. Along that theme, here are my tips for avoiding burnout when teaching Esl:

1. Most importantly, look after your health. Get enough sleep, exercise and eat well. If you're tired and hungover, and have a full day of teaching, it will be the biggest nightmare imaginable.

2. Don't reinvent the wheel. Most Esl textbooks have at least a few good things you can use. Use them for at least half your class. Then, if you need to, put your time and effort into making up one superstar supplemental activity. But doing 2 or 3 of these extra activities for each class? Burnout!

3. Make testing easy. I have a colleague who records all his speaking tests and doesn't grade while the students are speaking but goes back and listens to his recording. That's double the amount of work I want to do! I listen and grade at the same time with 2 students speaking to each other and find it easy enough to do. The students never complain that the grading is unfair either.

4. Unless you're truly strapped for cash, just say no. At my uni, there is so much OT that I could probably work every minute of the vacations if I wanted to. Except I don't want to because if I did, I would return to my job in September hating my job and my life. Everyone needs a vacation if you want to be able to do the job for more than just a year or two.

5. Get along with your colleagues. Drama is exhausting. If you don't like someone, just avoid them.

6. If you have a shared office, try to avoid it. It's gossipy, drama central. And who can actually do work there efficiently? It's better to find a spot where you can put in a couple quality lesson planning hours rather than 5 distracted hours.

1 comment:

Ally said...

I like your tips :) I think they can apply to teaching subject, because as an art teacher I totally understand what you mean.