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Sunday School Teacher Burnout

Mar 20, 2008
It happens to even the best of us. It is called burnout. Burnout is when you have reached your limits and feel like you cannot go on in any particular activity. You may feel that you have spent hours upon hours volunteering, organizing and doing things for others, and while this is certainly not a bad thing, you also need to remember to take time for yourself. Here are some things that you can do to help you feel ready to face the classroom again.

There are many signs that you are facing teacher burnout. One of the biggest signs that you have spent too many hours in the classroom is that you feel a sense of detachment from what you are doing. You may feel like you are not excited about teaching each week, or you may feel like you just don't have fresh ideas to share with your students. Burnout is also characterized as a loss of creative thinking, motivation, and even a detachment on the emotional level.

Many people who have taught for years and years will tell you that one of the biggest things that you can do to help teacher burnout is to make sure that you are taking enough time for yourself. This is so true when it comes to people who volunteer their time to teach Sunday School. Many times, volunteers not only spend their daytime hours working a regular job, but they are also pulled in many different directions, as far as their home life, family and their volunteer activities. If you feel like you are facing burnout when it comes to teaching Sunday School, take some time for yourself.

Next on the list is to find help. You should not have to do anything alone. There are many people in your church family that would love to step in and help you when you need it. Find a person who is willing to be a partner in your classroom and divide responsibilities between the two of you. This can really help you when it comes to avoiding burnout. The more hands in a project, the less work it is for one person. Even if you don't have somebody who can come in and help each week in the classroom, ask the parents to take things home to help you. These can be simple task such as cutting out shapes or gathering ingredients for a recipe or even sending in supplies. Get the help were you need it and avoid teacher burnout.

You should also remember that you do have the power to say no. Once you learn that you can say no when it comes to your volunteer work then you can avoid the feelings of Sunday School teacher burnout. Know your limitations and know what you can and cannot complete without feeling stressed. If you are being asked to complete a project that you feel that you cannot put your effort and time into, then it is okay to simply say no. Backing away from projects that you really feel like you do not want to do can help you avoid burnout.

You know that being a Sunday School teacher is a rewarding chance to work in the lives of young children. Take the necessary steps to make sure that you are continually enjoying your service. Remember your work is ultimately for the Lord.
About the Author
Denise Oliveri has been teaching Sunday School for the past 13 years. She is the owner of Preschool Sunday School Central, a leading online resource for preschool Sunday School teachers.

Stop by Preschool Sunday School Central and see the array of free resources and eBooks that you can purchase at eBook Central. They are guaranteed to make your lesson planning much easier.
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