Sunday, June 10, 2012

Surviving Teacher Burnout Tweets of the Day (6/10/12)

Who are we trying to kid?
With a sigh of relief, school is coming to an end. Next term seems like a lifetime away. But now is the best time to consider what and where you want to teach next year.  We all want to be considered Wonder Woman or Superman, but the most effective way for our careers to succeed is to 'Know thyself' and train, transfer or request the assignment you're best designed for. How do you know its time for a change? Maybe you're feeling burned out. Here's various links that may help.
1. Surviving Teacher Burnout
How we see ourselves. 

2.  Misunderstanding Burnout 

3. 5 tips to avoid teacher burnout 

All these concern the teacher taking the responsibility for himself, herself; asking for the transfer, viewing the success or failure of her students in a non-offensive light. Good luck with that. I see no principals or colleagues mentioned in these recommendations. The most effective schools I've observed have been teams that really cared about the staff and were supportive. Teams and leaders willing to compromise on sharing the work, responsibility, and, if need be, the blame.

Sometimes teachers get burnout because life in total is too much; school plus other circumstances. There needs to be a 'Sunshine Committee' for those weeks and months where life is exhausting. Maybe your son or daughter is at war, an elder is dying, there is an ongoing illness or dysfunction in the family. Is there support then, for all staff, not just the core group of favorites? How terrible to be anonymous for eight hours everyday, during meetings, lunchtime, when your heart is breaking and no one at this large facility knows (or cares?) Come on, folks, we need to be there for each other. We are supposedly in the people business.

Finally, here is a check list. Teachers can use counseling, regular medical checkups, personal days, support groups. We are people helping people. It is a complex and draining job!

 4. 13 Signs of Burnout and How To Help You Avoid It

Check out the entire article. Don't try to be Superman--we need Clark Kent. 
  Here are the early warning signs. (No, Number 1 is not attacking your laptop.)
Difficult IEP meeting?
  1. Chronic fatigue - exhaustion, tiredness, a sense of being physically run down
  2. Anger at those making demands
  3. Self-criticism for putting up with the demands
  4. Cynicism, negativity, and irritability
  5. A sense of being besieged
  6. Exploding easily at seemingly inconsequential things
  7. Frequent headaches and gastrointestinal disturbances
  8. Weight loss or gain
  9. Sleeplessness and depression
  10. Shortness of breath
  11. Suspiciousness
  12. Feelings of helplessness
  13. Increased degree of risk taking

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