imparting & acquiring of knowledge
Preventing Teacher Burnout
for Avoiding Burnout and Renewing Your Commitment to Teaching
This is a really hard one for me to do. Often, it seems far easier to just do it myself than to explain how something should be done.
This is a big
piece of advice that applies in all areas of life. But, in teaching, we
really need to put things in perspective. Is any one but you really going to
care if the border on that bulletin board is crooked? Do you stage a
Broadway-style dramatic production each year for yourself more than anyone
else? Let's face it, we're there to teach the children. Some things that
don't fall into the teaching/imparting knowledge category just may not be
worth a disproportionate amount of time and effort. So, put down those fancy
scissors that make the cool edge designs and go back to the essentials. Just
something to think about.
When I first started student teaching, I was appalled to find that some of my new teacher habits were making their way into my home and marriage. For example, if my husband would do something annoying, I found myself giving him my evil "teacher look."
You're human so
act like it at home. When I lock my classroom door at night, I drop the Mrs.
Lewis act and become just plain "Beth."
Watch a stupid
sitcom, listen to "un-teachery" music, talk to an old friend on the phone,
forget about the papers that need to be graded that evening. Obviously, we
can't do these things all the time. But, try not to beat yourself up over it
if you do something fun once in awhile. I try to do something purely for
pleasure each day. It really does keep me sane. Some nights, I get into bed
early so I can read a book for fun. On Thursday nights, I watch "Friends"
and "Will and Grace," and I don't apologize for it. A little time invested
in joyful activities can go a long way towards avoiding serious burnout.
Look past all of
the annoyances and hassles, both big and small, and remember why you became
a teacher in the first place. I left a job in Human Resources at a Fortune
500 company to become a teacher. Some days, I do question my sanity. But,
most of the time, I just have to think about how useless and uninspired I
felt behind that desk, staring at a boring spreadsheet, and I can remember
why I teach. I teach in order to make a difference for children and to share
myself with the world. Keep your reasons for teaching close to your heart
and you'll realize that all of the stress really can be worth it.
Courtesy: Beth Lewis