Many teachers leave the field after only a few years: stress, coupled with a lack of support, is often cited as one of the reasons. Even for seasoned teachers and youth workers, working with kids on a daily basis can be extremely challenging. Coping with behavior and emotional problems, lack of motivation, and difficult families can push even the best-intentioned youth worker to the end of his or her patience.
One of the keys to preventing burnout is finding ways to reduce stress. Additionally, those in the helping profession are often so overwhelmed they may make the mistake of putting their own needs last, which can quicken the onset of burnout. Try these ideas for making things run a little more smoothly:
Learn when to say no. Don’t feel obligated to volunteer for every committee or group that comes along. Spreading yourself too thin will wear you out and probably prevent you from doing the quality of work you could do if you focused on fewer projects. This goes for your personal life too. While some obligations can’t and shouldn’t be avoided, try to prune out those that are just adding to your burden.