The Daily Mile helps with teacher burnout

Have you ever tried to explain your day as a teacher to someone else not in the profession?

There can sometimes be a perception that your day starts and stops with the schools bells. You know that’s far from the truth.

Jessica Garcia is a first-grade teacher. She teaches at Caring & Sharing Learning School in Gainesville, FL.

“Teaching has only gotten harder. It’s become more mentally taxing. Especially coming off the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re still dealing with the effects of that disruption in learning. Then on top of that add our personal commitments outside the classroom. We get so wrapped up in the hustle that we forget to take care of ourselves. We aren’t operating at 100 percent. But we need to. When we are operating at our best is when our students have the best chance of success,” she said.

You know the feeling Jessica is describing. Either you yourself are feeling it or you know someone who is. It’s burnout.

Burnout is prevalent in education. Fifty-nine percent of teachers reported feeling it in a recent survey. Not to mention 48 percent of principals.

There are several factors contributing to this feeling. One is an uptick in disruptive behaviors by students.


A plausible reason behind this surge is distraction. Students spend a quarter of their time in class distracted. They are unable to focus on either the teacher or their current task.

But there are simple strategies to keep students focused.

Short physical activity breaks allow students to better stay on task.

Not only are they able to stay on task. Physical activity improves children’s brain function and makes retaining information easier.

What’s an easy and quick way to incorporate some physical activity into your academic day? That’s where The Daily Mile can help.

What’s The Daily Mile?

It’s a free initiative where students go outside for 15 minutes each day to run, jog, roll, or walk.

Are you worried about taking time out of instruction time for physical activity? Consider this.

Research has shown that even when the brain is in its “default mode,” it’s still active. What’s default mode? That’d be the state most associated with taking a break. That means that when students return to class from The Daily Mile, they’ll be able to get back on task quicker.

But the benefits are more than just extra physical activity and improved academic performance. The Daily Mile is a time for students and their teachers to connect and talk. And they don’t have to talk about schoolwork. Teachers can take this time to learn about their students. They can connect with them on a deeper level. What are their hobbies? What is their home life like? Is there something going on in their life that is preventing them from coming to school ready to learn?

Jasmine Lister is a first-grade teacher at Parker Elementary in Galveston, TX. She used The Daily Mile to get to know her students on a deeper level. “The Daily Mile has really given us a better connection as a class. I would encourage any teacher to start doing The Daily Mile,” she said.

And Jasmine isn’t the only one. You already heard from Jessica Garcia from Caring & Sharing Learning School. Hear stories from her and her fellow teachers in this video.

Join Jasmine, Jessica, Mary, and Tracy in The Daily Mile community. Sign up for The Daily Mile for free today.