Southwest Ga. teachers talk burnout

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Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 7:54 PM EDT
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TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - We’ve all heard a lot about workforce burnout lately. One sector that’s being proactive in addressing it is education. Schools can’t afford to lose more teachers.

Educators in Georgia say teacher burnout increased during the pandemic. The height of the pandemic put a strain on teachers that forced them to make adjustments to what was considered everyone’s “new norm”.

Kevin Dobard, Tift County Assistant Superintendent says he’s heard from several teachers that they were concerned about the amount of workload they have to deal with.

Laura Mullen is a teacher at Eighth Street Middle School in Tifton she says she experienced teacher burnout but realized the students were experiencing it too when having to transition from the classroom to staying home.

“You can tell the students were getting burned out too because first, you see faces, and then kind of as a semester rode on you just begin to see the little emojis, you know. You saw icons instead of faces or their ceiling or something like that and I think that’s kind of where it got the hardest,” she says.

In a recent report, state leaders pursued a number of reforms to address the concerns teachers had in relation to teacher burnout during the height of the pandemic.

Dobard says the Tift County School System recognizes that teachers need necessary breaks and recognition to reinforce a positive environment that he believes helps minimize stress levels in classrooms.

“When you have that recognition then people can respond in a more positive manner because they feel like they’re wanted they feel like they’re a part of something, and that’s what we try to do here at Tift County,” he added.

Mullen says she believes educators just want to be seen and recognized for their passion, dedication, and hard work to teach children of all ages and backgrounds.

For this upcoming school year, Mullen says she plans to do things a little differently in her classroom to help minimize burnout not only for her but for her students as well.

“I’m going to try to start every class with something fun, anything you can do to just kind of get them outside of their own heads,” she says.

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