In this episode, Matt Miller, author and blogger of Ditch That Textbook and ditchthattextbook.com and I get real about burnout and how educational technology changed our careers. We chat about Matt's journey from burned-out Spanish teacher to author, blogger, presenter, and podcaster and how YOU can "Ditch That Burnout!"
Teacher burnout can be very tricky. Sometimes it’s a slow burn that lays low for a long time and other times, it can show up in an explosion of flames. Either way, when it rears its ugly head, there are ways for you to be proactive to the signs of teacher burnout, no matter what type you’re experiencing. To find out what type of teacher burnout you’re suffering from, take the Teacher Burnout Quiz.
When Matt Miller and I had a conversation about his experience with teacher burnout and how he took control of his struggles through deciding to ditch his textbooks, we decided that there are ways that we can also ‘Ditch that Burnout’. Listen to our episode by searching iTunes or Google Play for The Burned-In Teacher Podcast. He’s the first interview of 2019!
Think differently about your teaching practices, your teacher stress, and teacher anxiety. You are a free-thinking human being who has the ability to assess your situation, break bad habits, and decide to do differently once you know better.
Innovation can be creating a brand new idea and path for yourself, that no one has ever tried before or can it be an adaptation to a path or strategy that someone’s already tried but with your own take on it. Decide that you’ll innovate a way to either create happiness and fulfillment in your teaching life, or ask someone to share their strategy for cultivating happiness and adapt it to your own needs.
Technology is a wonderful thing and it’s changed life for all of us in education. But, tech isn’t just for increasing student engagement. Use technology selfishly to automate your teaching and personal life. Getting used to doing something a new way can be challenging, but if you’re uncomfortable with technology, find a tech mentor and ask them to share all of their time- management and productivity secrets with you, so you can improve your efficiency, therefore allowing you to leave the classroom and classwork behind at a decent time so you can spend time doing the things that bring you joy outside of teaching.
Being and allowing yourself to get creative about how you get out of teacher burnout means you’re going to have to get messy, break some stuff, and learn from good ‘ole trial and error. After you’ve identified the reasons you’re burned out, begun to think differently, and started seeking solutions, you have the huge opportunity to create ways to feel better about teaching and your job in general. Not feeling creative? Find someone who is and ask for their help.
Get your hands on your own life. Plain and simple. A hands-off approach is shrugging your shoulders and saying, “I hate teaching. All of these things are happening to me and I have no control.” Teachers who have a hands-on approach to their own life, personally and professionally, look at challenges as learning experiences and do not repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Don’t take challenges personally. Get your hands on them. Learn from them. Decide that you’re going to have control and be your own hero when more challenges arise.
When I decided to ditch my own burnout, it was work. Just like anything else in life, you get out of it what you put in. I know you can do this… and you just took another step to become a BURNED-IN Teacher! BURN ON!