Readers’ Survey 2007: Best Way Schools Can Keep New Teachers From Burning Out
Edutopia readers weigh in on their favorites.
The resounding, all-purpose burnout first aid? The voice of experience. A struggling first-year teacher needs a role model, someone who can offer the professional and personal support he or she deserves. In fact, just the simple word support turned up again and again in your responses, even if all that means is to "praise the little things" and "pump 'em up; be positive!" Respect (especially from school administrators), pay raises, and smaller class sizes also made an impressive showing, and it seems eliminating excessive bureaucracy and paperwork could make a dent in exhaustion, too. Other fine ways to keep burnout at bay? "Single-malt scotch" and "venting rooms and free massages." 'Nough said.
Flames Travel Upward
If administrative support is so crucial for teachers, we then wonder, who supports the administrators? Principal burnout can be as critical as teacher burnout, especially in the toughest school districts, where good administrators are needed most. Luckily, there are mentoring programs out there for principals, too. Here's a sampling of organizations and programs:
- Leadership Coaching (New Visions for Public Schools)
- New Leaders for New Schools
- New Principal Mentoring Program (New York City Leadership Academy)
- Office of Principal Preparation and Development (Chicago Public Schools)
- Peer-Assisted Leadership Services: Principals Mentoring Principals (National Association of Elementary School Principals)
- Principal Development (National Association of Secondary School Principals)
- Principal Leadership Institute (Graduate School of Education, University of California at Berkeley)
NEXT PAGE OF READERS' SURVEY: Best education role model