In this episode, Dr. Chris Jones shares his experiences with burnout as both a teacher and principal. His perspective on challenges with balance in both positions will help you to understand how you can take control of your stress, overwhelm, and burnout over all there is to do in the classroom.
Here are my takeaways from this teacher-centered principal, AKA Dr. Chris Jones, who believes that administrators should SUPPORT, ENGAGE, and EMPOWER their teachers:
Burnout can and typically will happen more than once. And it doesn’t just go away. Your control over your burnout is directly linked to the action steps that you take to get out of it. “Pushing through it” or blaming it on someone else is not going to help you actively get out of it.
It’s important to pay attention to the negativity and cynicism that you’re feeling. If you don’t identify it as abnormal and start taking action to get out of it, you’ll get comfortable and it WILL become your norm. Until you realize how you’re impacting others, because of your burnout, you’re going to continue to live there. We sometimes don’t realize how good it feels to be healthy, because you get used to it.
Burnout can also be associated with growing pains - sometimes growth hurts. Imagine your muscle soreness after a good workout. You’re growing your muscles, which means tiny tears, and that hurts! The only way you’re going to feel better is to keep taking action, instead of letting that pain overtake you and keeping you in the current shape you’re in.
You can’t be good at everything and you have to understand that when you say yes to some things, you’re saying no to others. What are you going to say yes or no to to change your current reality?
When making a decision, as you’re taking actions to get out of the burnout, go back to your why. If you don’t have one, it’s important to get one. What’s your why?
Reflect on when the lack of balance started and respect those reasons. Burnout is an effect, not a cause. Say it with me, “BURNOUT IS AN EFFECT, NOT A CAUSE.”
Use time-blocking to create priority among all of the things that are the MOST important. Including family or friend time. If it gets scheduled, it gets done.
If you’re in a place that doesn’t match your why, you’re desire for innovation and change against the status quo, if someone is actively standing in the way of you doing what is truly best for kids, it’s time to have a conversation with your administrators to make sure that you’re fully understanding the situation. Like mentioned last month, if you’re not in the right place for you, you have some decisions and plans to make for a change that will benefit your happiness and fulfillment in your career.
Decide your WHY. Why do you teach? Share on social media and tag me @burnedinteacher and Dr. Jones at @DrCSJones and tell us your why.
Try time blocking, just like we block different parts of our day to teach certain subjects, block certain parts of your day to do THE MOST IMPORTANT or URGENT tasks. Take a picture of your computer calendar or paper planner and show us how you’re blocking time for the MOST IMPORTANT and IMPACTFUL tasks. Share them on social media and tag @DrCSJones and @burnedinteacher.
Talk to others and get ideas on how they create balance in their lives, because it doesn’t just happen, it’s created out of necessity and determination.
YOU CAN DO THIS! Until next week, I wish you a career and life full of happiness and fulfillment. You just took another step to become a BURNED-IN Teacher! BURN ON!