Burning Out?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Roobunny, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Roobunny

    Roobunny Comrade

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    Jan 27, 2013

    I don't know what it is, but since I've been back at work after the break I am just in such a rut. I feel like my plans have been stale and boring and I feel like I've hit a wall.

    Over the break, I moved and didn't have any time to do some professional development like I wanted to. I know I really need to change some things in my classroom, but need a lot of guidance. I was recently speaking to another educator who was using words like "mentor" and "instructional coach" - it would be great if my school offered these resources, but they don't. Maybe that's part of the problem...

    I just feel so lost right now. And burnt out. And exhausted. I just want to make it to summer where I can have the time to explore ways to change how I am structuring things and have the time to sit down and plan how to implement those changes.

    Is this normal? What happened? Should I blame the bleak winter weather? :unsure:
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 27, 2013

    It's normal. It happens to lots of teachers, even experienced ones. For me it tends to happen in February or so, when we have a long stretch between Christmas and Spring Break.

    My suggestions:

    If you regularly bring work home with you, stop doing that. I know it seems counter-productive and that you will get even farther behind, but just trust me on this one. If you spend your at-home time doing lazy/fun/relaxing things (whatever floats your proverbial boat), you will be more energized when you go back to school the next day. In your evenings and on the weekends, do the things that you like to do. For me, I like reading books, listening to certain podcasts, watching movies with my hoosband (either on TV or in the theatre), going out to lunch, taking my dogs to the dog park, napping, and cooking. Find what works for you.

    Use your prep time at school as efficiently as you can. Find a way to streamline your grading and organizing, and stick to that plan. Have students help you wherever possible. Even in the younger grades they can help move things around the room, stack things, pass things out, and clean up.

    Pick one new thing you'd like to change up in your classroom. Try it for a while, then add something new. For me, I've been working on trying to do a closure activity every period. This has been my goal for a few weeks. It's not overwhelming to me, since it's just one new thing I'm doing differently--but it is getting me closer to my goal of having the best classroom I can have. In a few weeks I will try something new.
     
  4. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Jan 27, 2013

    Well said! Great advice, Caesar. :)
     
  5. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jan 27, 2013

    No advice, but I'm feeling it too! I sat down to plan like....3 hours ago and I'm not even close to being done cause I never really started. Just not motivated lately. I think the cold and sleet are truly a big part of it.
     
  6. Roobunny

    Roobunny Comrade

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    Jan 27, 2013

    You know what? You're right. I usually don't spend my evenings and weekends being lazy - it's usually spent planning, or running to the library to get books for next week's lessons, running to the craft store to buy supplies for an upcoming activity, and so on and so forth...I really haven't spent time doing things for ME: Getting lost in a good book, experimenting in the kitchen, visiting with friends, taking the dogs for a walk with the fiance, having a date night with the latter (the sweetie, not the dogs ;))...

    I need to start focusing more on myself and keeping my mind and body healthy. I need to stop volunteering for things at school. I need to commit to staying only an hour past my contract time and setting aside one night a week to stay late, if need be. I need to lock my door after school so when I am trying to get work done I'm not interrupted by students, parents, and/or co-workers. I keep telling myself I will do these things, but they just don't happen!
     
  7. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jan 27, 2013

    I think you've got it, Roo!

    I tend to stay about an hour (sometimes two) past my contracted time; however, I don't bring anything home at all--ever!
     
  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Jan 27, 2013

    I agree with the above advice. Also, I find that it is helpful to not focus so much on getting everything done, but really putting some energy into making the day special with the students. Since I have started praising students more and taking a bit more time to listen to them, I feel I have improved more than getting everything done on that never ending to do list.

    Roo, I like the plan that you made for yourself too. Good luck to you. :)
     
  9. Hrothgar

    Hrothgar New Member

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    Feb 12, 2013

    I'm a new teacher and I sort of went through the same thing at the beginning of the year, racking my brain everyday trying to come up with new ideas for fun, fresh activities, etc.

    Then, I had an epiphany and realized that this whole notion of a teacher trying to entertain his students is plain wrong. It is wroooong. A teacher is NOT a clown, a teacher is not there to make students have fun. A classroom is a place to work. Making T-shirts with chemistry formulas, playing board games on US History, is utterly ridiculous.

    If these new ideas serve a specific purpose and help kids learn the material better, they are welcome. Now, if you're gonna be wasting your afternoons trying to figure out new magic tricks to keep a bunch of lazy people motivated... I think it's just wrong. It's their freaking duty to work. We teachers are being overburdened with responsibilities that are not even our own.
     
  10. Roobunny

    Roobunny Comrade

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    Feb 12, 2013

    Hrothgar - I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to try and motivate the unmotivated. Even with some of my best lessons that are totally engaging, I still have those couple of children that just don't want to work...
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 13, 2013

    It's really frustrating when you put hours into making a lesson engaging and the students simply don't appreciate it.

    I feel like all my stuff has gone stale as well, but it could also be that the students just have the bar raised so high now, because we did so many engaging lessons at the beginning of the year, that they expect to be entertained.
     

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