Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Burn Out

“What else would you add to these thoughts? What are your thoughts?”

He gives great reasons why some teachers don’t burn out. I think I’m one of them because I’ve been in special education for more than 30 years. I agree with the reasons he gives because I feel like they have applied to me. I feel that I’ve made a difference and I’m very passionate about what I do. I also worked hard to keep myself from burning out.

Here are some additional things I’ve done over the years.

Get to know my student’s parents and develop a rapport with them. Many times when I was feeling down and discouraged, I would call a parent to brag about the good things their child had done and the many times it is these parents who encourage me and show appreciation for my hard work. It helps to remind me why I teach.

Change. Change is good and keeps me from getting in a rut. Sometimes change is hard but it keeps me sharp. I’ve moved to different schools and not stayed in one school my whole career. I think starting in a new school with new administration makes me pay attention more to details. I don’t take anything for granted and I’m having a fresh new start. Each time I moved to a new school, I grew professionally. I pushed myself to do better and it made me better. I try to do the same things with my students.

Learn something new. Every year I try to learn some new skill. This learning not only keeps me sharp but reminds me how hard it is to learn something new. I can better relate to my students and encourage them when they get frustrated. This keeps me from getting frustrated with them when they don’t learn as fast as I hope they would. I have learned things like Chinese language lessons and even archery lessons.

Get a hobby. This hobby can change over time but my teaching cannot be my hobby.  Many teachers let their teaching consume their lives and that is not good. Over the years, my hobby has included cross-stitching, gardening, hiking, traveling, knitting, and spinning yarn.

What other ideas would you include to avoid burn out? Please share.

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