Mr Kemp NZ

Top 10 ways leaders can help teachers avoid burning out

In December 2014, I was honored to be named in Huffington Posts Top 12 Global Education Blogs of 2014. The bloggers on this list have been asked to contribute to Huffington Post’s Education blogs for 2015/16. This is the last month and this week we look to answer the following highly controversial question “What are the top ten ways that administrators can help new teachers avoid burning out?” – here is my response:


The signs can be obvious or hidden, but the reality is simple – so many new teachers get burnt out. How can we stop this happening and how can administrators help new teachers avoid burning out?


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One of the most important things my first principal told me on day one of my first ever job was “Surround yourself with positive people and good things will happen”. That is exactly what I did, and one of the key reasons I avoided burning out. Sure, I have been close, but whenever it gets too much I use these 10 tips administrators have given me to avoid burning out:

  1. I surround myself with positivity – I go to my happy place with family, friends and colleagues that make me smile and relax!
  2. Have ME time – I take time out for me – I play sport, I listen to music, I go running, I do my own thing and relax.
  3. Speak up – when you are feeling down, angry, mad or lost, speak up and tell someone. Talk it through – an admin should be there to support you, even if it is just an ear to listen with.
  4. Celebrate the positive – rejoice in the little things and spend time celebrating with your colleagues. Show appreciation to those around you and recognize people for progress.
  5. Identify the good in others – we have fun and have something called “Spy of The Week” – read more here:
  6. Team building activities – have regular activities to bring staff together – my current school has social activities for the last hour of every staff professional development day – it is perfect!
  7. Staff drinks and social gatherings – encourage staff to leave work at work and get together with family members doing various social activities.
  8. Be a role model – model work/life balance, model positive behaviors, listen, be an advocate of your staff and have their backs no matter what!
  9. Know your staff – a great admin will know their staff and know what makes each individual tick. They will provide different ways to bring the best out of every individual.
  10. Have fun and laugh – humour and laughter makes my classroom great. This is something one of my leaders always encouraged us to do, bring the love of learning to your classroom, laugh, have fun and be silly sometimes. Read more here:

Burnout is your body’s way of saying “slooooooow down, breaaaaaathe, relaaaaaax”. Listen to your body and do the right thing by you! A great admin will always understand their staff, listen to them and be there to help and guide them through thick and thin.

What have you seen that works? I would love to hear your ideas via

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Craig Kemp

Craig Kemp

I am a passionate Global EdTech Consultant based in Singapore but working with Schools and EdTech companies all over the world. I am a lifelong learner, dream creator and thought leader. I love to inspire others and find inspiration. Co-founder of #whatisschool, #asiaED edchats and #pubPD.

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