Back to School: Teacher Burnout Prevention

Aug 30, 2023

Teachers are the backbone of our educational system. Unfortunately, burnout among teachers is still a serious problem, causing many to rethink their careers and leave the profession entirely. This mass exit from the education sector has left school districts scrambling to fill the gaps to keep classrooms full and students cared for. 

For HR teams in the public sector, we know you’re focused on teacher burnout prevention, and we believe that evaluating your employee benefits with that goal in mind will lead you to take better care of your teachers and minimize teacher turnover. 

A survey conducted by the National Education Association found that 55% of teachers shared that they expect to leave the field sooner than anticipated. The teacher shortage is ongoing, and for HR staff, effective teacher burnout prevention is critical to halt that shortage for your school and your district. 

Employee benefits that provide mental health support are an incredible tactic to boost your recruitment and retention efforts, and we highly recommend using them to reach your overarching organizational goals – like teacher burnout prevention.

Boost Teacher Burnout Prevention With Employee Assistance Programs

Stand-alone Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are of great value to teachers. Often, they are more valuable than the bundled, no-cost EAPs included with long-term disability or life plans. Stand-alone EAPs provide in-the-moment support to teachers and enhanced technology for appropriate access to care. This technology includes the ability to text with counselors and access vital resources through mobile applications.

Stand-alone EAPs Promote Mental Health Wellness for Teachers 

1. Access to Licensed Professional Counselors

Mental health is a significant factor in teacher burnout, and by providing employees with an Employee Assistance Program, they gain access to Licensed Professional Counselors. When issues arise, employees can work with counselors to define the problem and obtain appropriate assistance. The counselors will either address concerns during up to 8 initial sessions or refer employees to other appropriate counselors or community resources for long-term help.

Often, these services are available to employees, their spouses, children and other dependents. This resource provides confidential counseling for personal issues like anxiety, depression, grief, marital and family challenges and substance abuse. Legal information resources and consultation for challenges like bankruptcy, debt, family law, civil lawsuits and real estate transactions are also available. 

2. Access to Work/Life Balance Specialists

What better way to prevent teacher burnout and improve mental health than by promoting a healthy work/life balance? By offering access to dedicated work/life balance specialists who have experience helping employees balance the demands of home, family and the workplace. These specialists can answer questions directly and put employees in touch with outside resources as needed. 

Work/Life Specialists Can Help With:

Childcare Services

  • Childcare Centers
  • Babysitter Tips
  • Family-run Childcare Homes
  • Community Resources
  • Nanny Agencies
  • Pre-schools

Eldercare Services

  • Assisted Living Facilities
  • Nursing Homes
  • Independent Living Options
  • Adult Daycare Services
  • Geriatric Care Managers
  • Services for Adults with Disabilities

Financial Services

  • Debt Management Solutions
  • Budgeting Assistance
  • Credit Report Assistance

Legal Services

  • Personal/Family and Elder Law
  • Real Estate
  • Identity Theft

Create a Mental Health-Friendly Workplace for Teachers

While providing access to benefits and resources is an impactful way to help your teachers prioritize their mental health, it’s equally as important to ensure their working environment is a mental health-friendly workplace. 

After all, this is where your teachers are showing up day after day — they deserve to have a workplace that is safe and productive. With employee stress at an all-time high, it is important now more than ever for managers to lead with mindfulness. Managers are encouraged to develop a “Mindful Managers Checklist” to help them. Tasks include:

  • Daily mindfulness practices
  • Improve conversational habits
  • Understand how your employees perceive you
  • Stay up-to-date on mental health practices
  • Promote team building and collaboration
  • Provide accommodations to teachers when appropriate

It’s important to remember that burnout is real, and teacher burnout prevention should remain top of mind for your team. If you want to learn more about employee benefits that support your teachers, connect with one of Totem’s team members today.

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