Burnout and Stress

By Natalie Irons, Associate Director, Instructional Coaching, UCLA Center X

As I have been doing training at various school organizations over the past months, it is evident that schools are stressful places. The levels of teacher stress and burnout are felt deeply and rippling throughout systems, as one coach recently shared that there is a “mass exodus of teachers” in their district. With energy expended to create safe spaces for students, educators are seeking their own sense of solace. A recent poll indicated that “42% of teachers declared they have considered leaving or retiring from their current position during the last year. Of these, slightly more than half say it was because of COVID-19.”

In whatever ways you might see the impact of the stress in your systems, remembering that so many people are still experiencing trauma responses is vital to understanding our school communities. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network reminds us that “the COVID-19 crisis has taken a toll on everyone.” This means we are all impacted by each others’ responses to the pandemic. Becoming trauma sensitive helps us consider how traumatic stress affects our sense of safety, our connectedness, and our sense of hope.

What might be some ways to support safety, physically, socially and emotionally? How might the sense of belonging in your systems be supported? What might reviving hope and purpose in your communities and your own work look and sound like?

Take care all 🙂

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