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Teacher Burn Out: Should I stay or should I go?

Whether you've been at a school a year or a decade, moving onto new pastures can be a tough decision to make. There is often guilt attached to leaving students and fellow teaching staff- but there shouldn't be! More than ever, teachers are leaving the profession they once loved. Before making the leap to a new life outside of teaching, you might want to think about moving on to another year group or even another school. It could reignite that passion and energy for this most rewarding of all vocations.  Just like clouds, every school is different! From one-form entry schools , to inner-city schools to mixed-group village schools, there are so many variables - not be mention different ethos' and leadership styles. Maybe you're ready for a change?  Should I Stay or Should I Go? When answering the below questions, consider what is most important to you and your well-being. Think about how sustainable your current work routine is long-term - you don't want to be burned

Teach your class the art of editing

"Miss, I've finished my work!" said the young boy proudly. "Have you checked and edited it?" queried the busy teacher. "How do I do that?" the confused boy replied.
We expect children to check their work for mistakes. Greater depth writers from Year 2 are expected to show evidence of editing and improving their work. There is a skill to proof-reading and editing and therefore us teachers need to teach it! If we take the time to share the art of editing with our students, they will ultimately become better, more critical writers.

Teach your class to edit and improve their writing independently

Editing Resources

In order to independently edit their work, children need to know what they are looking for. Have checklists, high-frequency words, and vocabulary lists available to them to make sure they have included a variety of the features/elements expected for the style of writing. They can go through their work and make sure they included speech, conjunctions, and fronted adverbials, ticking their list and sticking it after their work so show they checked and edited.

Editing station

Personally, I would prefer them to access their editing resources at their desk, rather than walking around the classroom to gather them. However, not all classrooms have room to keep things in trays under desks or on top. The editing station can include checklists, spelling support, dictionaries, and thesauruses. In order to show they have edited their work once it's 'finished', they could do so in another colour (purple pens are very popular). Depending on your marking policy, this can show they independently corrected and improved their work.

You may want to bring peer assessment into their writing. Can they proofread and give advice/ next steps for their partner? They could do this using the checklist if needed.

Started Activities

When your class arrives in the morning, they may have time to either look at feedback from the previous lesson and respond, or do a morning activity. My Year 2 class love to 'fix my work' (Example below!). They need to learn how to spot mistakes and improve writing which is sometimes easier when it's not your own work. Check out my Year 2 SPAG starter activities which include fix my work, plurals, suffixes, etc.

starter activity for your class to edit work
Sometimes my class independently fix and improve my work. Then they share their sentence with their partner and work together to make it even better before they share with the rest of the class. Here are some of Year 2's edited version of my 'Fix my work!':
  • Last week, I went to the big huge park with my fluffy dog called Drake.
  • One gloomy day, I ran to the park with my tiny, brown dog called Drake.
  • On a windy, stormy evening, I walked carefully to the haunted park with my smelly dog called Drake.

Marking and Feedback

A less independent approach to editing but a great step in the direction of becoming independent editors, feedback ideas for improvements, or hint at where they need to look to correct mistakes. Depending on marking policy, put in the margin that there is a spelling mistake on that line that they should know so they can find it and correct it. If you give next steps, you could ask them to re-write one or two of their sentences to include more adjectives or add fronted adverbials.

Improving work

It's not just about finding mistakes. They should understand how they can improve their work. Whether that is more interesting vocabulary (use another word for said or big) or extra detail, they should read their work and say ponder, "how can I make that even more interesting for the reader?"
Give them a slip of lined paper to rewrite one of their paragraphs or a few sentences using more conjunctions, varied sentence starters or adding speech, etc. Then stick part in the margin of their book over the part they re-wrote so it has a flap showing the improvement.

Check out my TES shop for great lesson plans, ActivInspire flip charts and worksheet.


  1. Learning to proofread your work yourself is a a must-have skill. But, it always helps to have a second pair of eyes review your work to make sure you haven't missed embarrassing typos, or grammatical and syntactical errors. I'd suggest for this. It also saves you a lot of time to have your work formatted according to the right style. Saves you a lot of time and allows you to focus on your work.
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