How to regain your love of teaching
Have you read any op-eds lately? … How about the one that says you’re expected to learn three new forms of technology … and you have just a couple of weeks to learn it. On top of that, report cards are due and, unfortunately, your grade-level meetings have become sparring matches — Parent conferences are are coming up and they have to be dealt with. Also, you have just found out that your state has opted out of Common Core … just when you have finally gotten a handle on it. Then you get yet another op-ed saying that teachers need to stop complaining … after all, they have the summers off.
So, you handle all this in stride. But when you find yourself dreaming about saying goodbye to teaching to sell trinkets at a beach-side stand on some Caribbean island, You know you are suffering from TEACHER BURNOUT.
According to reports, 35 percent of new teachers leave the profession in as little as the first five years. The reports also show that those who leave blame a lack of teacher influence over school-wide decisions. they claim that salaries are inadequate and that there is poor student discipline. There is an absence of administrative support and the working conditions are isolated, they say.
Warning Signs — When it is time to take action
- You’re not a crier but you find yourself crying in the mornings … you realize you’ve been holding it in for a long time.
- You wake up with a clench in your stomach and experience panic attacks as you drive to work.
- Negative thoughts about teaching begin taking over.
- You experience headaches or other physical symptoms as a result of your teaching concerns.
- You’re not at all excited about your job any longer and you look forward to the end of each day
What to do
- Try to have, at least, one confidant on staff … someone who allows you to vent in an appropriate manner.
- Try connecting with colleagues socially but don’t let the get-togethers become gripe sessions.
- Take personal days and use the time to rethink work priorities.
- Step back and recognize the parts of your job you cannot control.
- Seek counseling to help through rough periods.
- Try to turn negative thoughts into positive “self-talk.”
- Stop all school related thoughts and activities after 7 pm.
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