What does burnout look like?
Alison didn’t know and she certainly didn’t think that she could ever suffer from burnout. However, as she learned more about the signs and symptoms to pay attention to during her experience with being a Beta member of The Burned-In Teacher Program, she knew something was off.
Alison didn’t wait to take action. She immediately sought influence and advice from her good friends, including Brittany Mazzola, who she worked with at her district at the time. She took time to seek solutions and to take control. And that’s why she landed where she did today. She kept her eyes and heart open and is now thriving in a district where she feels her innovation and excitement for technology are rewarded daily.
What are the main take aways from this fun and energetic conversation?
Pay attention to your current reality or trends that you’re noticing. Doing that on a daily or weekly basis while you journal or talk with others is a great way to identify when things just seem off. Then, talk to your teacher tribe. They are those daily influencers, those humans that build us up and never let us down. They aren’t satisfied with venting, but are the true inspiration to our growth. Ask for support from those who can truly help you make the changes that need to be made.
Have a conversation. Alison admits that sitting down and having a conversation with her administrators may have helped the situation, but didn’t feel that in the long run that district was a good place for her. However, if you make it a habit to not sweep struggles under the rug and take the time to respectfully address your administration when you’re unclear or unhappy about something, can really make a huge difference in your future happiness at your school.
Take the leap. If you’ve made your voice heard, have tried to make changes, and have also found opportunities to use your talents in a new and different way elsewhere… go for it. Alison took a calculated risk when choosing to leave a district, friends, and students she loved by sitting down and making a list of pros and cons before making her final decision. She admits that leaving friends and students was hard, but that her moving away didn’t mean those relationships had to end.
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Book Alison mentioned: Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future