A veteran teacher recently posted on Teaching and Learning Forum for NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English),
I am so burnt out I am thinking of quitting after 14 years of teaching high school English. The superintendent and my Director are both retiring and my principal is making my life incredibly hard. The tone of the school has become incredibly negative, especially since the election. I don’t like the classes I teach.
So many teachers responded with support to help this one teacher. She is probably not alone. There might be many teachers who are contemplating their career choice, their passion, and looking to get out of the classroom.
The thought of losing great teachers is upsetting. Teachers do an important job. Kids really matter, and so in order to do our jobs well, teachers have to find the energy to bring to students. Teachers are their role model, a positive example.
March #ISTELitChat will focus on supporting teachers and sharing ideas to help teachers maintain their mental health and stamina throughout the school year.
Here are 10 actions for teachers who feel burnt out and are contemplating their career:
1. Put your thoughts and feelings in a journal.
2. Ask trustworthy colleagues (in a setting away from school) how they are doing and how they cope.
3. Form a small support group of good people, not those who will only bring you down.
4. Professional Development. Network! Join Twitter. I have found much strength from other educators, and the new ideas I have learned on Twitter have really made a difference.
5. Join leadership committees; take on a leadership role in your district. Are you an active union member? Advocating for your students and teachers gives you strength and purpose. No leadership roles available? Create one. Find a book which inspires you and lead a book chat with your colleagues.
6. Your students are your strength. Develop relationships with them. They need you more than ever.
7. Shape the next generation of teachers. Serve as a mentor for the younger teachers in your building. Offer them your support and expertise.
8. Keep those positive notes and thank you letters. Form a file and pull it out when things get rough. They remind you of what a difference you make.
9. Take time for yourself. Exercise, eat well, read, and surround yourself with great friends and family.
10. Book Recommendations:
George Couros’ The Innovator’s Mindset
Focus by Mike Schmoker
Twitter Chat Questions for 3/26/2017 Discussion
- Please introduce yourself, where you are from, and your role in education. #ISTELitChat
- Why did you become a teacher/educator? What drew you to this profession? #ISTELitChat
- What are some of the things you do you do to maintain energy and innovation in your classroom?#ISTELitChat
- How do you handle toxic colleagues and administrators?#ISTELitChat
- What words of advice do you have for teachers who are feeling burnt out? #ISTELitChat
- What resources can you share that can help rejuvenate educators? #ISTELitChat
- “Reflaction” – What actions are you going to take as a result of #ISTELitChat tonight?
Mark your Calendar for Future #ISTELitChat:
4/30 Guest Moderator Adam Schoenbart
5/23 Pre Twitter Party for #ISTE17 (Ideas & Suggestions for First Timers and Alumni)