How to measure teacher burnout?

What is teacher burnout?

Many teachers have lost their pre-pandemic sense of accomplishment. Then some of those teachers struggled to continue teaching at all.

For many teachers things have only got worse as a result of the pandemic, with efficacy issues especially becoming overwhelming. Many may also feel like they’re not being the teacher they were before, and that’s discouraging.

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Those issues have shifted the data on burnout. A study conducted between March and June of 2020 administered a series of tests, including a burnout inventory similar to the MBI, to more than 3,500 healthcare workers in the UK, Poland and Singapore. Just under 67% measured as burnt out.

While historically the true burnout profile for employees in all professions hovers just above 10%.

And that’s a huge problem, because true burnout can’t be fixed with a vacation or a wellness retreat.

Avoiding true burnout on a wide scale is vital, especially because it could mean a drain of qualified people from skilled professions.

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Teacher Back-to-school basics

Identifying individual pupil’s ability gaps

These diagnostic assessments are designed to identify what areas of place value your pupils are struggling with the most, and use a set of multiple choice questions to highlight any common misconceptions:

Year 6 – Place Value diagnostic assessments

Place Value diagnostic assessments for Year 5

Year 4 – Place Value diagnostic assessments

Place Value diagnostic assessments for Year 3

Key Stage 1 assessments

These Key Stage 1 assessments aim to help your KS1 pupils understand the topic’s key concepts:

Year 2 – Place Value diagnostic assessments

Place Value diagnostic assessments for Year 1

Why do children forget their learning over the summer months?

Many potential reasons might occur to you for why this has occurred. Maybe their previous teacher’s assessment was more generous than the evidence strictly warranted?

Have over optimistic colleagues ticked boxes that a more sober analysis would have left empty?

Has cognitive overload caused issues amongst pupils?

It is only human to want to feel effective as a teacher, and it can certainly be tempting to blame the situation on your predecessor.

But think for a moment about the class you have just said goodbye to – is their new teacher secretly cursing your misplaced generosity too?

You know that the data you passed on was robust. Yet maybe they are just as baffled about the gap between reported academic skill and the ability of the children sat in front of them as you are.

The importance of long-term memory

There is a reason the summer slide all too familiar situation occurs year after year. A child may well have demonstrated that they can tick that box once, but being taught a new skill is only the beginning.

Having that concept securely stored in a child’s long-term memory – in a form where it can be used flexibly and adaptively – is the ultimate goal. Unsurprisingly though, the journey from A to B can be really tough.

It is really worth teachers understanding the journey of a concept to longterm memory, for two reasons:

  1. to ensure we provide the right enhancement to enable a child’s knowledge to reach its ultimate destination.
  2. to prime us to be alert for the pitfalls along the way and how we can mitigate against them.