Burnout or just the pandemic?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by miss-m, Oct 6, 2021.

  1. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Oct 6, 2021

    Last year I left my job mid-year due to extreme stress triggering a ton of health stuff. I'd been at my school 5 years and it just progressively got worse/more stressful every year until the pandemic hit and the extra expectations of remote learning pushed me over the edge.

    This year I got a job in my dream district. I'm an aide, but it's a foot in the door and I think I have a decently solid chance of a teaching spot next year... if I want to.

    We're not even through the first quarter yet and I'm starting to seriously consider if I even want to go back into the classroom. My new school is way better than my old school in a lot of ways, but I'm still just exhausted and stressed all the time. I know some (most?) of it is pandemic related. Student behavior is out of control; everyone is stressed, traumatized, and struggling to get back to some semblance of "normal" while still wearing masks, trying to distance, and make up for a year of remote/hybrid learning.

    And I'm just having a hard time remembering which parts of teaching I still enjoy, which parts I can deal with, and which parts are only because of the pandemic. I want to make curriculum and teaching resources. I don't know if I want to keep working with kids, but I do have genuinely positive memories from teaching pre-covid that still bring me joy. I might want to work with adults, but I don't know what that looks like in terms of context. Still working in schools as an IC or mentor? Just keep teaching and sign up for student teachers? Leave education and get into something like corporate training or instructional design?

    Am I burned out or is it just the insanity of the past year and a half?
    Also, is anyone else feeling this way? Like... please tell me this isn't just me and I didn't just somehow end up in the one school in a new district with ridiculous behavior issues.
     
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  3. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    Oct 6, 2021

    School breaks? ;)
     
  4. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Lol after 6 months “off” (unemployed) I’m not even sold on that anymore. I don’t do well with nothing to do.
     
  5. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    I literally talk to no one who enjoys their teaching job right now.
     
  6. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Comrade

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    Oct 7, 2021

    If things get worse over a period of five years in any career, it's time to think about another career. Sure, pandemic isn't a great thing. But it wasn't a problem over the previous five years, was it?
     
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  7. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    The problem over the previous five years was (or at least seemed) strongly related to district-level changes at my old job. We had gotten a new superintendent who implemented an insane amount of micromanagement at every level, and it destroyed the reasons I loved the district in the first place.

    I think most of my issue right now is pandemic related, it just really sucks.
     
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  8. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Oct 7, 2021

    Same!!!
     
  9. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    hmmmm I think he moved to our district now it's safe to go back to your old district. LOL haahahahahah
     
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  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Oct 7, 2021

    It's crazy at my school. They keep changing our classes around. We're a year round school so typically have the same students for at least 2 years even in the summer. Last year they changed my class 3 times. Then I had a new class during the summer. Now I have a totally different bunch of students. Right now my students are quarantined until the middle of next week so I have to pull remote lessons out of the air and teach them that way until they come back. So ridiculous. I just keep reminding myself of 2 things. I get to leave it ALL behind at 3:30 when I leave school (I bring no baggage home, physical or otherwise) AND I get a paycheck. That about sums up my feelings LOL
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Oct 7, 2021

    Some days it's ok. Some days are horrendous. Like, when it's a good day, it's very, very good. When it's a bad day it's HORRID. I'm hoping the horrid days will be few and far between.
     
  12. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    I'm just tired. Good class but tired.
     
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  13. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    I'm just tired. Good class but tired.
     
  14. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    I'm just tired. Good class but tired.
     
  15. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Oct 7, 2021

    I could take some good days that are very, very good. I'm getting a lot of bad/horrid days with a smattering of "meh/fine" days thrown in. The good thing(?) is that the rest of the staff seems to be equally baffled by it -- it's not normal for this school to be such a disaster. So I'm tempted to see if it'll settle at some point.

    It's been a really long first quarter.
     
  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Yes, I am really tired lately. My husband can't figure it out. I should let him read this thread. It's not just me.
     
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  17. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Oct 7, 2021

    Absolutely there are stressful things, and there are days where I hate all of it, but overall I still like my job. I think it is 100x better than last year. We have gotten rid of all covid protocols except masks. Last year was a hot mess with everyone being in and out of quarantine all of the time. We're not doing that this year, thankfully. We also don't have elearning anymore, so the full staff is back in the building (last year, those of us still in person had extra work, because some staff were pulled for elearning). I hate masks but I understand why they're required. I dream of a day where those are gone too...

    The thing I find most stressful about this year is the dual pressures of "dealing with pandemic stuff" and "getting back to normal." On the one hand, we're acting like it's a normal teaching year. Student data is back to being a huge part of our evaluations. Yet we're being told to "slow down," "chill out," etc. Focus on social/emotional, meet kids where they're at, do more things like playing and story time (I about fell out of my chair when my P said that, very unlike her). Okay, that's all fine and dandy, but then we can't expect the data to look the same as previous years when we were hyper focused on rigorous academics. You can't have it both ways.
     
  18. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Oct 8, 2021

    Yeah, I'm going to see my doc on Monday to see if there is anything going on with my iron or B12 or WHO KNOWS WHAT. Tired of being tired.
     
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  19. Pisces

    Pisces Companion

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    Oct 8, 2021

    That sums up how I feel. Reading through this entire thread, I feel kind of relieved knowing I'm not the only one. I mean, I feel for all of you. We're all going through challenging times now and I am hoping we can gain a sense of normalcy very soon.
    This pandemic is awful.
     
  20. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    Oct 11, 2021

    Do you all feel that you have a certain skill that people try to take advantage of you for? Do you ever get tired of it?
     
  21. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    Ain't that the truth, come on Xmas break!
     
  22. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Oct 12, 2021

    IDK why but the worldwide trend is TIRED. Mentally and/or physically. I mean, what is up with that?

    I just want to sleep for hours and nap LOL.
     
  23. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Yeah, and it's getting worse because the days are getting shorter!! I want to get my jammies on by 6pm. Oh heck, as soon as I get home!
     
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  24. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    I just want a new job opportunity!
     
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  25. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    I found my new calling. REtired has been an awesome switch. :)
     
  26. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    People here are either looking to get out of education or looking elsewhere. People are leaving every week. I've applied other places myself.
     
  27. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    I truly hope they have a hard time finding teachers. They might start valuing them more if they do. I spent 1/2 my career in a place that had a hard time finding/retaining teachers due to location, I think.
    They were the best district I have ever seen in ways they appreciated, valued, and treated teachers. The 2nd half was spent in a place with too many teachers and not enough kids. We all knew we could be replaced easily by someone thrilled to have our jobs. Admin made it pretty clear that we were all easily replaced too.
    I hope you find a job that you want.
     
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  28. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    Well no one is easily replaceable around here. That's why classes are either doubled up on one teacher or the room has a sub.
     
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  29. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    We'll be fully in person later this month. Have teachers out and teachers quitting. Recipe for success huh?
     
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  30. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    Teachers here have been in person with little safety protocols all year. They have already had 2 waves of it hit them. Definitely not a recipe for success. They have taken a lot of pressures off of teachers here I think b/c replacing them is no longer as easy! :)
     
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  31. stargirl

    stargirl Companion

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    Oct 17, 2021

    My old district (I moved this summer) is short teachers and just about every other support staff position. In fact, they hired people who are not yet certified which they never ever did before in the 15+ years I worked there, so just goes to show how desperate they are for teachers. Evidently a lot of teachers unexpectedly retired or left late in the summer...I guess they just didn't want to face another year of teaching during Covid.
     
  32. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    Same here. A lot of us took early retirement. I can't blame mine on Covid though b/c I had been tired for about 5 years before . A few people I know left the state too and went into other careers.
     
  33. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    One of my friends was in a bind with no help. Her para got a job somewhere else. Admin wasn't any help. She ended up getting a virtual teaching job. Not sure what will happen with the SPE class she had. All on admin now.
     
  34. MrTempest

    MrTempest Comrade

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    Oct 19, 2021

    One problem that has gotten worse since the pandemic has been the line between work and home has been muddied. All of these virtual elements we have pushed during various lockdowns have been steadily encroaching on the personal times of teachers. This has contributed to increased teacher burnout. I do not see this getting better unless it is addressed head-on. Boundaries need to be redefined to include not expecting teachers to read emails sent during the evening or weekend, not expecting teachers to do a thing if they are off, etc.
     
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  35. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    I does nothing when I'm off. Nothing.
     
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  36. MrTempest

    MrTempest Comrade

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    And there is nothing wrong with this.
     
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  37. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    Hell I took a day off today.

    #nofoolishnesswednesday
     
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  38. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    I did that last week. I had an appointment first thing in the morning, and obviously that meant I needed the whole day off lol. It was glorious.
     
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  39. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    Plus I'm taking next Friday. I will not leave all of these days in this district.
     
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  40. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I have never used up all my personal days in a semester. This semester I have 1/2 day left and it's not even Halloween. Of course I took two days to take my youngest to college. The other two I am taking for me. I took off last Friday to go back to my hometown and this Friday I am flying to see my grandkids for the weekend. That is as long as they dont have pink eye still LOL
     
  41. mrsf70

    mrsf70 Companion

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    Oct 22, 2021 at 6:10 AM

    I resigned my position the night before school started. My room was set-up, I had attended two days of teacher meetings, and planning was done for the first week. The three days I had spent at school were filled with anxiety and panic attacks which I have never had before. I had to go out and sit in my car multiple times to make it through each day.

    The final day before school started, I randomly sent my application to a private school and was called to interview an hour later. I told myself if I was offered the position, I would resign. Long story short I was and I did. I also took a $20,000 pay cut and walked away from my pension.

    I may return to public schools; I need 9 more years for any pension because I started my career at 35. But as I talk to my friends in surrounding districts, they are miserable. This year is the worst yet since Covid began. Expectations are high, and support is low. For now I am glad I have a job with insurance and can sleep at night.
     
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