In this fourth episode of The Summer Self-Care Series, teachers from The Burned-In Teacher Facebook Community Jennifer Werry, Jennifer Miller, and Kinsey Zellerhoff tell their stories of teacher burnout and how their triumph over it came down to this fact: You can’t take care of others, if you don’t take care of yourself first. They share what works for them and how they make time for self-care even with careers, families, and all there is to do in day-to-day life.
Jennifer Miller is a sixth-grade teacher in Seymour, Indiana. She’s been teaching for 21 years, and was named the 2019 Seymour Chamber of Commerce middle school teacher of the year! She’s also the regional manager for Indiana for International Student Exchange, a non-profit organization that brings high school students to the U.S. from all over the world. She has a husband and three children ages 18-25, and are getting ready to host their fifth exchange student, this time from Italy.
Jennifer Werry teaches second grade in a small, rural Title 1 school. She’s taught for 16 years in the same district where she previously taught kindergarten, special needs preschool, and served as an enrichment teacher. Teaching is a second career for her as she decided that working in corporate marketing just wasn’t the best fit.
Kinsey Zellerhoff has been in special education for almost 14 years and recently completed her Masters of Education in Special Education. She’s currently the assistant principal and lead special education teacher at a private special education day school for behaviorally challenged and traumatized youth. She’s been married for nearly 8 years and has a son and two bonus daughters. She’s been a Zumba instructor for 7 years and a Strong by Zumba Instructor since March and uses both as a part of her own self-care.
Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others by Laura Van Dermoot Lipsky
Paper Tigers Documentary (available on Amazon Video)
Jennifer M., Jennifer W., and Kinsey suggest the following practices, if you’re a teacher dealing with teacher burnout, due to lack of self-care and/or vicarious trauma: