Four Ways to Overcome Burnout
At my age, I talk to a lot of retired teachers as well as many educators who are counting the years until they can retire. While I do know teachers who absolutely love their work, there are a large number who are dissatisfied. In fact, about 50% of new teachers leave within 5 years. I personally know one new teacher who literally walked away from her job after Two Days of teaching. Why? It is usually a combination of inane policies and curriculums, difficult, unmotivated students and unsupportive, even demanding administrators, parents or even peers.
For many the answer is to revamp their career and find work in another field that is more fulfilling, satisfying and unstressful. However, if you love teaching and are committed to making a change in student’s lives, it is possible that a few small attitudinal and behavioral changes could be a game changer for you. Want to add more joy to your work? Check out the following suggestions:
Here are four ideas suggested by Seattle’s exuberant Pike Place Fish Market.
With the emphasis on academics, testing and data collection, we can all become so focused on getting the job done that we forget that school can be fun. This is different from making everything into a party or game. Instead this is more of an attitude that looks for and shares the joy and enthusiasm of teaching, discovering new vistas and learning about the world around us. Remember the excitement you felt reading a new book, learning a new concept or delving into a new way of doing things? Find a way to inject that excitement into your lessons. Express wonder at the amazing world that we live in. Create your own fun and inject it into as many things as you can while you teach. Be real: Poke fun at yourself. Use your talents and imagination. Appreciate your student’s quirky behavior and world view.
Commit to Being a Positive Force
Renounce gossip, complaining and criticism even when you feel it is deserved. Instead offer solutions to problems. Commit to asking how you can help. Look for the positive everything and focus on ways to expand that positivism. Describe the kind of person and environment that you want to work around and then focus your attitude and actions on being that shining light for others.
Think of each day as a new beginning. Set an intention for each day and remind yourself throughout the day of your mission. Measure progress from where you started, not from the goal you hope to achieve. Recognize your own contributions and track them. Share successes with others. Develop a support group of like minded educators who can give you encouragement.
Be the person you want to see
Determine the core characteristics that you want to see in your students. Clearly identify those traits. Decide what those traits look like in every day life. Keep it simple and down to earth, then model those traits. Look for and recognize the traits in your students. The lens through which we see the world determines what we perceive and eventually what we get in response. Choose lenses that get you the outcomes you prefer.
Elementary School Counselor Resource
Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Friendship
It’s not easy being the new kid at school, especially if you are a cat and everyone else is a dog. How do you make friends? Can you even be friends with someone who is totally different from you? Wyatt the Wonder Dog helps solve Ami’s friendship problem with empathy and compassion. A great story for teaching children the critical life skill of making friends.
As a public school elementary counselor, Wyatt offers so much about making and keeping friends. I will use this book as a resource for whole classroom, small group and individual discussions, raising issues that affect real life situations.~Cindy Little, School Counselor, Georgia Elementary School, Milton, Vermont
The Elementary School Counselor Book of Leadership Lesson Plans
This book is a treasure trove of lessons, activities and discussion starters to nurture tomorrow’s leaders through developing critical thinking skills and growth mindset. It includes twenty-eight lesson plans based on Stephen Covey’s seven habits of highly effective people, bibliographies, activities, problem situation cards, ASCA Mindset and Behavior Standards and learning assessments.
Grab your copy HERE