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Mar 04, 2019

In this episode, two teachers from The Burned-In Teacher Small Group Program tell their stories of transformation. Each of them classified themselves as Burned and Unbalanced and struggled with their work-life balance as educators. Amber shares with you five steps she encouraged these teachers to take to begin to take control over their workload and go from Burned and Unbalanced to BURNED-IN Teachers!

SHOW NOTES:
 
At the beginning of the interview, Janelle is very open and honest (if you can’t tell from the first quote) about her hesitations about getting a TRUE accountability buddy (ME! and the Small Group Program).

I can tell you, truly, when I asked her to be part of the program, I thought she would say “No, thanks.” However, I was pleasantly surprised when she didn’t! I feel like it’s also safe to say that she’s happy she didn’t say, “No, thanks.” as well, because THIS is what she says now…

“Honestly, I haven’t felt this relaxed about teaching in YEARS!”

— Janelle, Burned-In Teacher, Week Four of the Burned-In Teacher Small Group Program

…Now, I’d like to take credit for all of her success, but the truth is… she’s the one who has done the work. She’s the hero here. Not me.

The fact is, all I’ve done is listened, asked questions, offered her my insight or experiences, and she has done what she wants to (or needs to) to make the necessary changes in her day-to-day teaching life.

Even if you decide that The Burned-In Teacher Small Group Program isn’t for you, here are three quick tips on how to find and approach the right accountability buddy for you:

  • Look around.

  • Close your eyes. Think about what you see around you on a daily basis. What do you strive do to in your classroom? Who do you see and think to yourself, “Wow. They’ve really got it going in their room.” Who do you admire? Is it someone in your grade level? School? Corporation? Maybe someone on Twitter who, when you read their posts or see what they’re up to, you think, “Wow. I want to be there friend.” That person, those people, could become your accountability buddies.

2. Stop the Negative Self-Talk.

You may have read the first tip and that negative self-talk started creeping in on cue, “I could NEVER be as good of a teacher as him." “Why would they give me the time of day… I suck.” “If I ask for help, that means I’m weak. I' don’t want to appear as weak or that I don’t know what the heck I’m doing.”

Stop. It. Now.

I hear you. I do. I said the same things to myself when I was accepted into Google Innovator and everyone around me was/is seemingly better than me at everything and once when I was struggling with classroom management and needed help with my 30 first graders I thought to myself,  “Who would want to take time out to help me… they’re too busy and I’ll appear an amateur when I’ve been doing this for 10 years.”

Don’t let your self-doubting thoughts hold you back from taking action and finding someone to set goals with and improve with. It’s normal for our self-consciousness and pride to take center stage when we’re thinking of stepping out of our comfort zone. Lord knows it’s so hard to say, “No. I’m going for it.” when all you want to do is put your head down and continue with business as usual.

Find that person, stop the negative self-talk, and…

3. Make the Ask.

This is sometimes THE hardest thing. Actually making the ask and putting yourself out there with the possibility of being rejected.  Ugh… I know… I see your face right now. But think of it this way: Do you honestly want to continue to struggle like this? Isn’t it worth the risk of taking a scary step and asking someone to talk weekly about your goals and struggles or sending that email that admits you’re struggling to someone you aspire to be like? REALLY?

I’m telling you there is too much at stake to play it safe here and stay isolated and alone. Here are some sentence starters to help you send that email, knock on that door frame, or make the call:

Scenario 1:

HEY, KATHY! I’VE NOTICED THAT YOU’RE REALLY GOOD AT ENGAGING YOUR KIDS DURING WRITING. I’M REALLY STRUGGLING WITH ENGAGEMENT AND WOULD LOVE TO PICK YOUR BRAIN AND SET SOME GOALS ON INCREASING ENGAGEMENT DURING MY WRITING TIME. WOULD YOU BE MY ACCOUNTABILITY BUDDY?

Scenario 2:

HI, MIKE! SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, BUT I’VE REALLY BEEN HAVING A HARD TIME WITH ORGANIZATION AND PLANNING AND YOU SEEM TO GET OUT OF HERE EVERY DAY AROUND 3:45. DO YOU MIND IF I TALK TO YOU ABOUT HOW YOU DO THAT, SO I CAN LEARN TO DO IT TOO? IF THERE ARE GOALS THAT YOU HAVE TOO, I WOULD LOVE TO BE YOUR ACCOUNTABILTY BUDDY AND CHAT EACH WEEK ABOUT OUR STRUGGLES AND OUR GOALS, SO WE CAN BOTH GROW. IS THAT SOMETHING YOU’D BE INTERESTED IN?

No matter who you’re asking or the situation you need help with, the first step is seeing where you want to go and then taking steps to get there. That’s what Janelle did. You can do it too.

If you’re looking for a group of accountability buddies to support you NOW, hop into The Burned-In Teacher Facebook Group and make the ask there. There are over 150 teachers in there, ready and willing to help you reach your education goals! Join the group and tell use what you need help with.

MAIN TAKEAWAYS:

  1. Have and two Accountability Buddies: One on the inside, someone who works with you or in the same position as you do, and one on the outside who can give you different perspective.

  2. Assess what truly are the most important things to spend your time on.

  3. Ask yourself, “Does it really have to be so perfect?”

FIVE WAYS TO GO FROM BURNED AND UNBALANCED TO TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR WORKLOAD:

  1. Pay attention to how you spend your time before, during your prep times, and after school.

  2. Block certain times to work on certain tasks.

  3. Batch like tasks together.

  4. Pay attention to what you’re grading and why.

  5. Work with Amber!

 

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