Whilst Further Education is a demanding sector to work in, it’s one that we’re (obviously) a big fan of at Brooks and Kirk. People who want to work in this sector tend to be quite caring, perfectionist types, and these are just the kind of people who can find themselves burning out. So, for any of you that are feeling the burnout or just want some advice on staying motivated in this sector, we’ve got some tips just for you!
Take Care of Yourself
Healthy body, healthy mind! Make sure you’re eating well and getting enough exercise and fresh air. Don’t just grab a quick snack from the vending machine at lunchtime because you ‘didn’t have enough time’ – make the time to have a good lunch and have a short walk to get your brain feeling refreshed. There’s no point in trying to run on fumes, your brain needs a healthy diet to work properly, and you can’t assess or teach to the best of your ability if your brain isn’t getting the nutrients it needs! Whilst we’re on the subject of taking care of yourself personally…
Your students and candidates will definitely take the time to switch off from their work, so why can’t you? Take some time to not be in assessing/teaching mode and enjoy the other elements of your life. Spend a weekend relaxing at home or spending quality time with family and friends! If you can organise your workload efficiently, it won’t hurt you to take that time out.
Negativity in and out of the workplace can bring anyone’s mood down, so it’s best to be avoided at all costs. The more that you deal with demotivated people, the more likely you are to become demotivated yourself. Try and let the negativity bounce off you. Don’t take any negativity you run into personally. Commit to focusing only on your goals and intentions for the day.
Notice how far you have come in your career. Take a look back at some old lesson or assessment plans and try them again to make any improvements. You will notice the growth you have had in time working in the Further Education sector. Another option is having someone observe you teaching/assessing, and gather any feedback you can to try and improve the way you work. You could also observe another colleague at their job, and see if you can find any areas that you can take on board for yourself. This can help your professional development, which brings us to…
CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. It’s the process of tracking and documenting the skills, knowledge, and experience that you gain both formally and informally as you work. Essentially, it’s a record of what you experience, learn and then apply. Updating your skills and knowledge can give you a fresh enthusiasm to teach and assess. You may even want to go back and try something you haven’t done for a while to challenge yourself!
(If you want to know how to create a CPD record, we’ve written a guide on it!)
We hope that if you are feeling the burnout or struggling to stay motivated in your sector, these tips will help you!