Teacher Burnout: The Big Mistake Teachers Make

To avoid teacher burnout, all teachers need THIS Pep Talk!


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I think most teachers feel like they are a “hot mess”. I know I did.

Teachers have a ton of responsibilities that pull them in a million different directions. Planning lessons, differentiation, grading papers, collaboration, classroom management, behavior management, IEPs, parent teacher conferences…

… Just to name a FEW.

So of course you’re feeling overwhelmed. And you may be tired and exhausted… like, ALL the time. You may feel like you CAN NOT do it all. But you know what? That is NOT the biggest mistake teachers make.

The biggest mistake that you could make- as a teacher trying to do it all- is comparing yourself to other teachers who seem to have it all together. Many of us compare ourselves to the teacher next door. Her classroom is always neat and tidy. Her students always seem to be well behaved. She is happy and cheerful all the time and maybe even leaves school at a decent hour. (what?!)

It always leaves you wondering- how does she do it all?! And why do I seem to be such a hot mess compared to her?

Don't Compare Yourself quote

I created this quote image on a whim because I was thinking about how often I compare myself with others. Personally, I always feel like everyone has everything together while I feel like a hot mess! Sharing quotes on social media is a great way for me to connect with other educators because we realize we have a lot of the same problems!  Well, this quote in particular resonated with many teachers when I posted it on my Facebook page. I have never had a post liked, shared, and commented as much as this post. It went more “viral” than anything I’d ever experienced on my own page! (You can see the original post here!)


Now I don’t say this to be “braggy” or anything, because if you know me at all you know that I am NOT that type of person. I’m telling you this just because this alone shows that many teachers relate to this.

Most of us ARE guilty of comparing ourselves to other teachers. We see another teacher who seems like they are always on top of things. Their room is organized, their students are well behaved, they even seem to have everything together both at school AND outside of school. However, it’s important to remember that you are only seeing things through your perspective. They have struggles that you don’t know about. Someone else at your school is probably looking at YOU and saying the exact same thing, because they don’t know your struggles. When you’re comparing yourself to others, it causes you to focus on the negative things about yourself and the positive things about the person you are comparing yourself to. This is damaging, and it is a BIG mistake!

With that said, try this. Try NOT to compare yourself to other teachers this week. Focus on YOU. Focus on what YOU are doing well, rather than putting yourself down with all the things you can’t get done. We have so many things on our to do list that it is impossible to get it all done. Remember you are one person, and you can not do everything.

A quote I once heard and loved was: YOU CAN DO ANYTHING, BUT YOU CAN’T DO EVERYTHING.

quote image

You literally can’t do everything. Neither can that teacher next door. You may think she is doing it all, but she’s not. She may be thinking the same thing about you.

Prioritize your life, do what’s most important, and then let everything else go. Take a deep breath. Eat some chocolate or Ben and Jerry’s if you have to! It’s okay if you leave school before everything is done. It’s okay to have other priorities outside of school that come FIRST, especially if that is your family. Yes, we want to do everything we can for our students, but not at the expense of our own health or our families.

And certainly not to keep up with the teacher down the hall. So when you find yourself comparing yourself to another teacher, just say NO. Stop it! Because remember, they’re a hot mess just like you.


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2 Responses

  1. 20+ years and I still feel like a hot mess! Thank God I really do love this job despite the craziness. Comparison is the thief of joy!

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