Have you “lost that lovin’ feeling” for the very job that is your passion and your calling? Do you find yourself engaging in the following signs of burnout?

  1. Taking shortcuts with lesson plans.
  2. Arriving late and leaving early.
  3. Engaging in sarcasm and hostile humor.
  4. Avoiding staff meetings and parent meetings.
  5. Frequently calling in sick on Mondays and Fridays whether real or not.
  6. Hanging out with the whiners and moaners complaining about students, parents, and the administration.
  7. Blaming students, colleagues, parents and administration for what’s not working at school.

Sometimes teachers find themselves hating the job they used to love without seeing it coming.  All of a sudden you find you are experiencing signs of burnout.  The causes of burnout are cumulative. We can all recover from a few bad days.  However, when feelings of dissatisfaction about our own or other people’s performance begin to take hold and go unaddressed, we start to isolate ourselves from others.  We feel overwhelmed by the tasks at hand, unappreciated for our contributions, and powerless to change what is not working in the system. Lack of respect and lack of acknowledgment from students, parents, peers and administrators leaves us uncertain about the future of our jobs and careers.  Conflicts with students, parents, peers and administrators that remain unresolved build into feelings of failure, negative self-talk and even depression. Perhaps you are a teacher who is chasing your own tale.

There is a way back and you don’t have to do it alone.  Start by remembering when you loved being a teacher:

  1. Make a list of all the reasons you became a teacher in the first place.
  2. Start hanging out with teachers who are enthusiastic about their students and encouraging about their work.
  3. Make time for yourself—exercise, meditate, pamper yourself, eat healthy foods, get plenty of sleep, engage in activities you enjoy with friends and family. Laugh a lot and have fun.
  4. Don’t take things personally. It’s usually more about what is going on with the other person than about you.
  5. Participate in a personal growth or professional development opportunity in order to shift perspective, access support, and refresh skills.

One way to combat burnout is to take advantage of Education Transformations’ “A Taste of Transformation!” workshop on July 10/11.  In an environment of support, authentic communication, empathy and acceptance, you will be able to safely explore the feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction, as well as reflect upon possibilities and options for changing the things you can change and accepting the things you cannot. Turn feelings of blame and powerlessness into responsibility for your own job satisfaction and back to focusing on learning.

Photo by Instant Vantage