Strategies to Avoid Burnout and Thrive as a PDHPE & CAFS Teacher Next Year (and Beyond)

Nov 29, 2023

As the end of 2023 approaches, it's easy for PDHPE & CAFS teachers to feel overwhelmed by everything left to do before the holidays. While it's normal to feel stressed this time of year, it's important we also take steps to set ourselves up for success in the new year.

In my latest podcast "5 Ways to a Better School Year", I'm sharing practical strategies PDHPE & CAFS teachers can implement to avoid burnout and have a smoother 2023. 

You know that feeling of being "absolutely done"?

Yup. me too. So many PDHPE & CAFS teachers I speak to and work with experience at this point in the term. With Christmas only a month away, it's all too easy to go into the break still stressed and drained rather than feeling excited for the new year. That's why it's more important than ever to protect our wellbeing and go into the break with energy and joy.

But HOW can we do this?

  1. Connecting with a mentor or coach. Having someone at our school we can lean on for advice, questions or just an ear helps alleviate the pressure of feeling alone. I know how lucky I was to work with a PDHPE & CAFS coordinator who trusted our faculty completely - something that unfortunately is all too rare. A mentor can also provide an outside perspective on faculty issues or help brainstorm new strategies.
  2. Collaboration with like-minded colleagues. While it may be tempting to keep our heads down and work alone, sharing ideas and resources with like-minded colleagues multiplies our effectiveness. There were times earlier in my career when I lacked this collaboration, which was often replaced with toxicity instead. Communities like The Learning Network's "The CAFS Collective". "The PDHPE & CAFS Community", "The Health & Movement Science Membership" and "The Formative Assessment Hub" provide a supportive space for PDHPE & CAFS teachers from all stages of their careers to connect.
  3. Conferences, webinars and networking events allow us to learn from others and feel reinvigorated in our practice. In-person interactions have a different impact than online spaces alone. Make sure to subscribe to our email list for early access to upcoming PDHPE & CAFS events from The Learning Network in 2024 where teachers can gain inspiration and ideas, which include The Inaugural Health and Movement Science Summit and The CAFS Collective plus our popular Year 11 & 12 CAFS MasterClasses in Term 2 and 3.
  4. Ready use packages and courses are another timesaver I highly recommend. After spending evenings writing resources as a busy teacher, I remember the burnout of endless prep. That's why my memberships and courses provide everything teachers need on a "silver platter". This frees up mental space and energy for the meaningful work of PDHPE & CAFS teaching.
  5.  Access to a variety of teaching and learning activities keeps lessons fresh and engaging for students. Experiment with new strategies with your colleagues, and check out our constantly updated resources across PDHPE & CAFS subject areas for teachers to implement immediately.

I hope you can use these practical strategies to streamline processes and workload, while still delivering quality education. And remember: it's NORMAL to have feelings of overwhelm. By facilitating and sharing a supportive community of PDHPE & CAFS educators, it's our goal to give you some hope and motivation for the new year!