Blogs on Teacher Burnout

Blogs on Teacher BurnoutRSS
Nicholas ProvenzanoMarch 13, 2014

Forgive the pun in the title of this post, but I couldn't help myself. The temperatures are starting to rise, and teachers need to shake off the winter weariness to make it through to the end of the school year. I've got some great tips on how you can inject some much-needed energy into your teaching and end each day with a smile on your face.

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Maurice EliasJanuary 29, 2014

The hardest job in America? Being a teacher, so said Sargent Shriver on October 13, 1972, in a speech given as part of his vice presidential campaign with George McGovern. Forty-two years after this remarkable speech, his words bear sharing.

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Lisa Flook, PhDJanuary 22, 2014

Editor's note: Simon Goldberg, Lisa Flook's colleague at UW-Madison's Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, contributed to this post.

It's 6:00 AM on a frigid Monday in mid-January. You know the feeling -- the darkness outside, as if you're moving through molasses, slogging through just to get out of bed. Through your morning ritual, you're finally at school. And it's just the beginning of a long, grueling day, in a seemingly endless week, and a never-ending year. You find that you don't have much patience for your students, frustrated with what feels like their commitment to making your life difficult. You feel isolated and alone, unsupported and up against something much bigger than you can handle -- in a phrase, burned out.

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Nicholas ProvenzanoJanuary 21, 2014

We have entered the second half of the school year, and many of you are probably surprised that you've made it this far without killing someone. Those are very natural feelings, but you might not be able to last the rest of the school year if that's where your mind is at the moment. After ten years in the classroom, I've put together what I think are some excellent tips for making it through the second half of the school year in one piece -- and not in jail. See which of these strategies can make the next six months a piece of cake in your classroom.

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Elena AguilarJanuary 21, 2014

Since my last Edutopia blog post, How Slowing Down Can Lead to Great Change was published, I've received dozens of messages asking for suggestions for how to slow things down in schools. The premise behind the following suggestions is that if we slow down, we'll have more opportunities for reflection -- to think about what we've done and how it went, to consider next steps, and also to listen to each other and therefore, strengthen our connections. Here are some steps that anyone working in schools can take to slow down:

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Mark PhillipsJanuary 13, 2014

I think that one of the greatest challenges for teachers, including many of the best, is being frequently frustrated and self-critical because of personal expectations that they can never fully meet.

In his book Compassion and Self-Hate, the psychologist Theodore Rubin presents what he describes as indirect forms of self-hate. These are illusions we have about who we are supposed to be and unrealistic expectations of what we can accomplish. He includes, as one example, the illusion that if you have enough money, you'll be happy. Another is the illusion that physical beauty insures relational happiness. Each illusion he describes results in unrealistic expectations that make us self-critical and unhappy.

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Todd FinleyNovember 19, 2013

On a spring afternoon in the 1990s, I happened upon one of my professors in a campus restroom. The renowned metaphysical sci-fi author caught me eyeing his hands, which trembled as he lathered them with liquid soap. "I get the shakes before every class starts," he explained. "Every class for 30 years."

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Andrew MarcinekOctober 1, 2013

By now, many new and veteran teachers are settling into the routine of the new school year. Hopefully, the back-to-school anxiety levels have subsided and classrooms are alive with learning. Notice that I said "hopefully." Speaking as someone who spent nine years in the classroom, this was usually the point in the year where I started to feel unorganized and scattered. I had a plan, scope and sequence, but still felt like my organizational methods were beginning to spiral. This feeling occurred in classrooms where I had technology at my disposal and classrooms where I did not. The combination of feeling like you never have a minute to spare, stacks of papers to grade, parents to attend to, and the ever-constant email slowly taking over your precious free time . . . all of this can frustrate even the most efficient teacher.

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Heather Wolpert-GawronSeptember 30, 2013

She was a mentor. She was an innovator. She was a fighter for students, academic rigor, and achievement. I use the past tense not because my colleague has passed away but because her positivity has. And in so doing, administrators have lost a mediator, the staff has lost colleague, and the students have lost a guide.

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Terry HeickSeptember 24, 2013

Teacher morale isn't a popular topic, and that makes sense on the surface. Teachers are professionals, like engineers, doctors, farmers or business leaders, and no one is going out of their way to make sure that engineers are "keeping their head up" or that farmers "feel good about their craft."

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