Nov 12, 2018

In this episode, Gretchen and I discuss our experiences with becoming our own heroes and how we've found our own heroes, taken risks, and continued learning to get and stay BURNED-IN! 


How many times have your heard yourself saying these things to yourself:

  • “I can’t do this anymore. Teaching is just too hard.”
  • “No one understands me.”
  • “This is just the way it is.”
  • “I have no control over anything as a teacher.”
  • + more negative, damaging, isolating self-talk???

Yep. Me too.

… but not after I decided to take control, take action, and become my own teacher hero.

This week, Gretchen and I talked on The Burned-In Teacher Podcast about what we did when we were classroom teachers to help ourselves prevent teacher burnout. I’m telling you, it takes effort, it takes work and time. But the snowball effect from taking initiative and action (above all) are the things that saved us.

Here are three things you can do as your own teacher hero to prevent your own teacher burnout:


This can be your Dad or Mom (like Gretchen) or you can have what I call a “Personal Board of Directors.” I have certain people that I look to for certain things and, lemme tell ya, my mind is blown daily by their wisdom, passion, and knowledge they are willing to dole out to me by the heaping spoonful.

Do you have people to turn to for advice on:

  • parenting?
  • classroom management?
  • lesson planning?
  • the effective, engaging, and efficient use of educational technology?
  • planning your procedures in your classroom?
  • administrator problems?
  • overal LIFE?
  • etc x 1,000…

Heroes have heroes and, if you don’t yet, then it’s time to go get some. Of course, if you need some advice in this area, jump over to Facebook and join our private and free Burned-In Teacher Facebook Group. We’re ready and waiting to dole out that heaping spoonful of support to you too!


I will never advocate for anyone quitting teaching in the middle of the school year. There are a lot of ripple-effects that happen when a teacher decides to jump ship in November or December.  I felt so guilty for leaving my classroom and corporation in December of 2014, but I decided to take a calculated risk and join an educational non-profit position that needed someone to start in January. I took the risk and, although it seemed to be a failure at first (I closed the organization the following July), it ended up leading me to Burned-In Teacher. So, was it really a failure? It’s all a matter of perspective.

Heroes take risks that are thought out, with a backup plan. It doesn’t have to be a perfect plan, but a plan non-the-less. Here are some ways to plan a calculated risk:

  • Write down what’s frustrating you. Ask yourself… what have I REALLY done so far to solve these problems? (VENTING DOESN’T COUNT.)
  • Write down all of your options as a teacher.
  • Write down all of your options NOT as a teacher.
  • Weigh the pros and cons of all of those options. Write them down. Talk about them with a friend or significant other.
  • Write down what what you want from this risk. Talk about that too.
  • Sleep on it. A lot. Calculated risk does not equal marching into your principal’s office and resigning directly after reading this blog post.

You do those things, and you’ll be well on your way down the path of greater happiness and fulfillment as a human, not just as a teacher.


This one’s pretty simple. If you’re curious or frustrated about something having to do with school. Learn about it. Study it. Get educated about your struggle in any way you can. You are in control of what you learn and how you use what you’ve been taught to solve the problems that are happening at school. Again, venting doesn’t count as sharing what you’ve learned.

But don’t just learn about things that help you be a better teacher. No, no, no…

Learn more about you and your passions. Be a self-serving professional by taking time to set goals, make plans, and hone in on your passions as a human being.

Those are the things that will save you when you need motivation to keep going.



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