Apr 18, 2022

Navigating Difficult Student Behavior Using a Heart-Centered Approach with The Active Educator

Welcome to Episode 132 of the Burned-In Teacher Podcast! I'm thrilled to have you here today, especially during this challenging yet exciting time of year. Some of you may have just returned from spring break, while others might still be enjoying their break. As for me, I've already had mine and am back in the classroom, dealing with difficult student behavior. We all experience various emotions at this time, ranging from disillusionment and burnout to tiredness and frustration. Some of us face new challenges, while others continue to deal with the same ones since the beginning of the school year.

Personally, I haven't been feeling disillusioned or burned out, but I must admit that I've lacked motivation after returning from spring break. I'm sure many of you can relate to this feeling. So, I encourage you to embrace this lack of motivation and explore its source. But more importantly, take an uncomfortable step forward to make a positive change.

In previous episodes, I've discussed the challenges I've encountered in my classroom, ones that I've never experienced before or handled in this way. Embracing the Burned-In mindset, I realized that I couldn't keep doing the same things and expect different results. That's why I'm excited to introduce today's guest on the Burned-In Teacher Podcast, Andriana. She's a former kindergarten teacher who has become an SEL coach, business owner, and blogger behind The Active Educator. Andriana offers support to elementary teachers in the areas of classroom and behavior management through her heart-centered teaching courses and membership.

As you might remember, I recently spoke about enrolling in Andriana's heart-centered classroom management course and the tremendous success I've had with it. I can't wait to implement more of what I've learned in my next year's class. So, I urge you to listen closely, take notes, and check the show notes for some special goodies that Andriana has prepared for us.

Remember, the challenges you're currently facing are temporary. But to see different results, you must be willing to do something different. Today's episode will dive deep into this mindset shift, and I hope you take it to heart (no pun intended). If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to Andriana or ask in the Burned-In Teacher Podcast Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/burnedinteacher. We're here to support you in any way we can.

Before we jump into the interview with Andriana, I want to take a moment to address a couple of questions from "Ask BIT." If you have any questions related to being a burned-in teacher, your burnout story, or the challenges you're currently facing, feel free to submit them at burninteacher.com/ask. I'll be more than happy to answer them in an upcoming podcast episode.

Alright, everyone, let's get ready for this insightful interview with Andriana. Burn on!

Amber: Andriana, thank you so much for joining us today on the Burned-In Teacher Podcast. We are incredibly excited to have you here. Personally, I can't contain my excitement as I have so many questions I'm eager to ask you. Thank you for being a part of this!

Andriana: I'm super excited to be here. Amber, thanks for having me.

Amber: For those who may not be familiar with you or your work as an active educator, could you kindly share a brief overview of your teaching journey? Additionally, we'd love to hear about the inspiration behind your current endeavors in supporting teachers and students.

Andriana: Of course! My name is Andriana, and I used to work as a kindergarten teacher in Michigan. Currently, I reside in Michigan, where I am a full-time social-emotional learning coach. My role involves providing support to teachers both in-person and online, focusing on classroom and behavior management. Additionally, I have developed two programs, namely the 'Heart-Centered Classroom' and 'Behavior Management' programs, along with an online membership, through which I assist teachers in these specific areas.

Amber: I got to know you because we share the same website designer, who sent me your website as an example. Upon visiting your site, I immediately fell in love with its beautiful and clear presentation of how you help teachers and kids. Initially, I approached it from a design perspective, but as I delved into the content, I was amazed by what you offered. I knew I needed your program in my life, so I reached out to you on Instagram and asked two questions. First, how could I enroll in Heart-Centered Classroom Management, and second, if you'd be interested in being a guest on my podcast.

Eventually, I enrolled in your Heart-Centered Classroom Management program, Andriana, and it has truly transformed my teaching experience. I am incredibly grateful for what you do. Some might question why a burnt-out teacher would invest in a classroom management program, but I believe in taking proactive steps to improve my skills rather than waiting for professional development from the school or complaining about student behavior. Your support has been invaluable, and my students have responded positively to the changes.

You are exceptionally talented at what you do, and I have many more questions that I'd love to ask you.

Andriana: Yes.  Let’s jump right in. 

Amber: So, what led you to step out of the classroom? Do you have a burnout story? And how did it shape you into this incredible kindergarten teacher who excels in working with students and social-emotional learning? I'm curious to know what prompted your transition from the classroom to your current pursuits.

Andriana: Wow, what a journey it has been! Let's take a trip back to my first year of teaching, when I was teaching first grade, just like you. Teaching has always been my passion; it's the classic story of knowing from the start that this was what I wanted to do. I had a natural affinity for working with kids, and my heart was fully aligned with becoming an educator.

In that first year, my principal surprised me with a glowing report during the evaluation. He was impressed with how engaged I was with the students and remarked that it was rare for a first-year teacher to exhibit such skills. While it was gratifying to hear, I couldn't fully grasp how I naturally connected with students and created such an engaging environment.

Over the next few years in first grade, I embarked on a journey of self-reflection and growth. I started recording myself teaching, solely for my own learning. This allowed me to review and analyze my teaching methods, constantly seeking ways to improve my approaches and interactions with students.

Eventually, I transitioned to teaching kindergarten and began sharing those teaching videos on my Instagram. The response was incredible, as fellow teachers were curious about my teaching techniques and classroom management strategies. However, I realized that I didn't have a single source or program to refer them to, as my methods were a culmination of various experiences and insights.

Then, in August 2020, I decided to address the recurring need for classroom management support among teachers. I created "Heart-Centered Classroom Management" using a simple poster board and sticky notes, mapping out effective strategies and techniques to help fellow educators thrive in managing their classrooms and fostering a positive learning environment.

The program was born out of a genuine desire to support teachers seeking guidance in classroom management, and it has since been instrumental in empowering educators and enhancing the learning experience for both teachers and students alike.

Amber:  My goodness. And it is a phenomenal program.  I was wondering if there was a certain book or a program where you learned these things. 

Andriana: The short answer is no. It's funny, too, how SEL is such a buzzword now. Looking back, if someone had asked me if I was implementing SEL in my teaching all that time ago, I wouldn't have even known what to say. But the truth is, it was embedded in everything I did – teaching kids strong character and important life lessons were at the core of my classroom and behavior management structures, without me even realizing it.

It wasn't until I had conversations with other teachers, like the one I had the other day, that I began to reflect on my teaching approach. Sharing my teaching videos with others and receiving their feedback was eye-opening. It made me realize what other teachers needed and inspired me to create these programs that have genuinely been life-changing for educators. It's been the most rewarding gift for me.

Amber: Something else I wanted to share is how much your program resonated with me. As I watched your videos on Instagram, I noticed many similarities between our teaching styles. We both love using hand motions and creating chants and songs – something I've done throughout my 13-year teaching career. It felt like you were a teacher after my own heart, and I connected with your approach immediately.

Of course, I understand that not every teacher has the same personality or teaching style, and that's perfectly fine. But for me, your methods aligned seamlessly with what I was already doing in my classroom. When I discovered your resources, I realized my classroom management was already pretty good, and I had great relationships with my students. Still, your insights introduced me to new experiences and helped me level up.

I plan on binge-watching your videos again this summer and implementing even more improvements at the beginning of the next school year. By the way, are you an SEL coach for your school district, or is that a role within your own business?

Andriana: So, it's a very part-time role and it might not exist next year. The reason it appealed to me was that it allowed me a bit more time to focus exclusively on my business. While the position is part-time, it offered a sense of security, so to speak.

With the growth of my business, especially after last year's success with the course and now multiple courses, as well as the establishment of an online membership, I found it increasingly challenging to juggle both commitments full-time. It just became too much to handle simultaneously.

Amber: You didn't leave the classroom due to burnout or the need for a change. Instead, it was purely an opportunity that came your way.

Andriana: Yes, it was presented to me, and honestly, every day I find myself thinking, "Gosh, I miss having that special group of kids. I miss being in front of students every single day. I miss it so much." I've had a few meetings with my school district to discuss options for this fall, but nothing is confirmed yet. I don't want to say anything definite at the moment because nothing is set in stone. Right now, I'm praying and hoping that everything works out because I genuinely miss being in the classroom.

Amber: Let's face it; this year has been another challenging one. Now that I'm back in the classroom, it's become more crucial than ever for me to stay focused on my core values, mindset, goals, and habits. Being a teacher in today's world, we constantly face new and tough challenges that can easily throw off our lesson plans and personal lives.

Years ago, I hit a point of burnout for the fifth time in my six-year teaching career. I used to believe that feeling overwhelmed, crying on my way to work, and sacrificing nights and weekends for prepping and planning were just part of being a good teacher. The current challenges in education can make balancing teaching and everyday life seem impossible. But I've discovered a way out of burnout.

In my book, "Hacking Teacher Burnout," I share an eight-step process I designed to help myself and other teachers navigate our way out of burnout. From my own rock-bottom burnout moment, I learned to focus on what I can control and let go of what's out of my control. The book shines a light on burnout as an opportunity for growth and change. It empowers you to become a "burned-in" teacher – a happier, more fulfilled, efficient, and effective person in the classroom and in life.

In "Hacking Teacher Burnout," you'll learn how to discover your burnout type and take actions that best suit you. You'll move through burnout instead of fighting against it, make time for growth and joy, and thrive personally and professionally. The book also prepares you for hardships before they hit and equips you to conquer them when they do.

You can start your journey out of burnout by downloading chapter one for free at burnedinteacher.com/freechapter today. After the year we've had, there's no better time to use what I've designed to create positive changes in our lives. You deserve it.

As for me, I left the classroom in 2018 to pursue "Burned-In Teacher" full-time. Initially, I was doing some tech coaching and workshops while teaching full-time, but I took the leap in 2018 and decided to focus solely on my business. Although COVID happened, and things changed, about a year ago, I began to feel the itch to be back in the classroom. I was bored and missed being around people, as I am very extroverted. That's when I decided to apply for a kindergarten position in the same district my husband works in. Although he was surprised at first, I have never looked back. It's been the best experience, and I truly enjoy being able to balance both being a CEO and a classroom teacher. Now, I can practice what I preach, and it has been a rewarding journey.

Andriana:  Yeah, that's amazing. I'm glad that you were able to find a great fit. 

Amber: So what would you say to a teacher who is struggling with classroom management? 

I reached out to you because, in a couple of my past episodes, I had discussed my challenges with my student behavior—the defiance, the disrespect. It was perfect timing to find you as I was genuinely seeking help at that point. 

What are some things that you would say to them or encourage them to think about or do to begin to turn things around?

Andriana: Yeah, so in both of my programs, I focus on heart-centered classroom management and heart-centered behavior management. Especially this year, as I've been coaching teachers full-time, behavior challenges have come up a lot. What I want to emphasize to teachers is that it's not their fault. Dealing with extremely challenging behaviors, even some that veteran teachers have never seen before, is a result of the trauma we've all experienced in varying degrees over the past few years. There's still a lot of uncertainty, and as adults, we are feeling unsettled.

I work with teachers to reframe their thinking about these unfamiliar spaces and emotions. Feeling overwhelmed and burned out is understandable when teachers don't feel fully supported. However, as adults in the classroom, we need to take action and examine how we respond to these behaviors. It's essential to be proactive and seek solutions when support from school districts may not be enough. Just like you took the initiative to seek help, teachers need to step back and ask themselves what they've tried, and what hasn't worked, and reflect on their approaches.

I understand that we all want quick, easy fixes, but it's crucial to realize that many of these behaviors are deeply layered and connected to unmet needs over a long period. There isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. It requires patience, reflection, and understanding that addressing these behaviors takes time and effort. It's about building trust with students and creating a safe and supportive learning environment. So, reflection is a significant part of the process, even though it might not be the easy fix we hope for.

Amber: I just wanted to say that I knew this conversation would be great because you and I share very similar perspectives when it comes to handling hardship. One of the significant mindset shifts I often discuss with teachers is moving away from a victim mentality. Instead, it's essential to embrace the idea of being "burned in" rather than "burned out" and take ownership of our actions and decisions.

Changing your mindset to "this is happening, what's my next move?" is crucial. It's tempting to adopt a victim mindset, as it absolves us of responsibility. But, as you rightly pointed out, burnout is not our fault. However, it becomes our responsibility to take action and address it. We have the power to make changes and improve our situation.

It's essential to recognize that if we don't change anything, nothing else will change either. We must be proactive and willing to take the necessary steps to overcome burnout and create a more positive and fulfilling teaching experience. Embracing this mindset shift empowers us to move forward and make the changes we need to thrive as educators.

Andriana: Yes, that's absolutely true. Our kids cannot afford for us to remain stagnant; as the adults in the classroom, it is our responsibility to recognize when something isn't working. When behavior issues persist and negatively impact the child, the class, and ourselves, it's crucial to take action.

The first step I emphasize when discussing behavior and classroom management with teachers is to look inward. Engaging in critical self-reflection is essential because, without it, we won't be ready to delve into the reasons behind the behavior and find ways to support our students during challenging moments. Taking the time to understand ourselves and our reactions is fundamental to effectively address behavior issues and create a positive and supportive learning environment for our students.

Amber: That's absolutely true. Depending on where you are in your "burned-in" journey, there's a whole spectrum of experiences. If you find yourself at stage zero, completely burned out, or at stage one, feeling cynical and negative, hearing about change and mindset shifts might not resonate with you just yet. And that's completely okay. Each person's readiness to embrace change varies, and it's essential to respect that.

However, there comes a breaking point where you have to decide for yourself whether you're willing to make changes or not. Ultimately, the decision lies with you. Making the decision to change and take ownership of your journey is pivotal.

Now, regarding building relationships, it might sound like a broken record, but it's because it's incredibly important. Building strong connections with our students is the foundation of a positive classroom environment. When students feel seen, heard, and valued, they are more likely to engage, cooperate, and learn. So, it's crucial to keep emphasizing the significance of nurturing those relationships with our students throughout our teaching careers.

Andriana: Of course, building relationships is essential, but what does it actually mean, especially when it comes to our hard-to-reach students? This is a common question, especially for beginning teachers or those who might not fully grasp the concept.

In my programs, I've provided step-by-step guidance, demonstrating how to build meaningful connections with students. It's more than just saying, "You have to build relationships with your students." For our hard-to-reach kids, it often involves unlearning and undoing the preconceived notions we might have about them before we even meet them.

Let me illustrate this with an example I frequently use: Joey. Each year, when you receive your new roster, you might hear stories from other teachers about Joey's behavior in preschool or previous grades. This creates an image of Joey in your mind, and you might already feel worried or afraid of what to expect. This has an impact on Joey as well, as he becomes aware that he is being identified as the "bad kid."

I strongly believe that we have a responsibility to help our students form positive identity associations and build their self-worth. So, when Joey comes into my class, I am determined to challenge the negative reputation he's been given. I refuse to believe that he's a "bad kid." I choose to see Joey for who he truly is and believe in his potential.

When we talk about building relationships, it's about making a conscious decision to change the narrative for that student. It's about making it known that all the negative talk ends here, and this is a new chapter for Joey. It's about demonstrating genuine care, empathy, and understanding, and providing opportunities for Joey to succeed and grow.

Building relationships means actively working to break down barriers and establish a positive and supportive environment for every student, regardless of their past behavior or reputation. It's about seeing the potential in each child and empowering them to believe in themselves. By doing so, we can truly make a difference in their lives and create a positive impact on their learning journey.

Amber: What's truly fascinating about these children, and where I believe kindergarten teachers have a unique opportunity, is that we can show them a different way to be and believe in their potential. As a first-time kindergarten teacher, I've witnessed several students undergo remarkable transformations. Of course, not every day is smooth sailing, but when they make positive choices, I make it a point to specifically acknowledge their fantastic decisions and express how proud I am of them. I let them know that I trust them and that I have high expectations for their capabilities.

Thanks to the strategies I've learned, including your guidance, I've seen kids who initially came into the classroom kicking and screaming change their outlook. They now understand that they are capable of so much more. It's their first experience being shown this belief in their potential, and it's amazing to witness the impact of this encouragement on their confidence and growth. They are learning that every day doesn't have to be perfect, but they are capable of doing their very best, and I couldn't be prouder of their progress.

Andriana: Absolutely! It's crucial to remember that the impact we have on our students through building relationships will last a lifetime. When we choose to believe in our students day in and day out, even when they fall short, we teach them critical life lessons. Just like we all make mistakes, we show them that it's okay to make mistakes too.

As teachers, we need to shift our perspective from the traditional "I'm the teacher, do as I say" approach to a collaborative team dynamic. We and our students are working together as a team, and when we approach everything with this mindset, it becomes powerful and transformative. As a team, we are better and stronger together.

I've seen the positive impact of creating an open and safe environment in my classroom. In Heart-Centered Classroom Management, we use intentional repairs to address challenges and issues. We bring these situations to the class, allowing everyone to share their ideas on how to handle them. This fosters a sense of safety and openness, where making mistakes is okay, and we learn and grow from them together.

The difference between a heart-centered environment and one focused on blaming, shaming, and giving orders is night and day. In a heart-centered environment, students thrive, feeling supported, valued, and part of a team that cares for each other's well-being. This creates a nurturing and transformative learning space where students can flourish and grow, and it sets them up for success beyond the classroom.

Amber: I completely agree, and I want to be genuine with my students. I acknowledge that I make mistakes, get frustrated, and sometimes raise my voice, just like any human being. When we share both our moments of success and our oops moments with the students, it creates a powerful connection. There have been times when I've said, "I had an oops moment today when I raised my voice, and I am genuinely sorry for that. I will try better next time to handle things differently." It's incredible how this simple act of apologizing creates a safe space for me to be vulnerable with my students. They understand that I'm not perfect, and that's okay.

Building a team environment in my classroom is crucial to me. I want it to mirror the kind of work environment I would love to be in myself. I've experienced working in environments where leaders would flip a switch and become volatile, which was both scary and unpredictable. Creating a positive and supportive atmosphere where students feel safe to express themselves and take risks is essential. By treating my classroom as a place where we work together as a team, I foster an environment that encourages growth, bravery, and open communication.

I firmly believe that treating the classroom as a positive work environment leads to better learning experiences for both students and teachers. It allows everyone to thrive and feel empowered to share their thoughts, ideas, and challenges without fear. Creating this kind of classroom sets the foundation for students to develop not only academically but also emotionally and socially.

Andriana: Moments of vulnerability are incredibly powerful for building and nurturing relationships with our students. When we show our vulnerability, we let them see us as human beings rather than just perfect, always-right teachers. We acknowledge that we make mistakes and that we may not always have the right answers, and that's okay. By doing so, we demonstrate that it's acceptable and human to make mistakes and learn from them.

When we get vulnerable with our students, it fosters a deep sense of trust and connection. They see us as real and relatable, someone they can confide in and learn from. This vulnerability creates an environment where students feel comfortable being themselves and expressing their own thoughts and feelings openly.

Apologizing to students when we make mistakes is an essential part of this process. It shows them that we take responsibility for our actions and that we genuinely care about their feelings. It's a powerful model for them to see how to take ownership of their mistakes and make amends. Tomorrow, when they find themselves in a situation where they may have done something wrong, they will remember the vulnerability and sincerity we showed them and be more willing to apologize from the heart.

Building these authentic and caring relationships with our students has a profound and lasting impact. It sets the stage for a supportive and inclusive classroom environment where everyone feels valued and respected, and where learning and growth flourish.

Amber: Yes, absolutely. Can you help us to understand what the difference is between Heart-Centered Classroom Management and Heart-Centered Behavior Management?

Andriana: Absolutely! It's wonderful that you brought up Heart-Centered Classroom Management, which is launching soon. Heart-Centered Classroom Management serves as the foundation for your overall classroom environment. It encompasses all the practices and strategies you implement for your entire group of students, including routines and setting expectations.

When we delve into Heart-Centered Behavior Management, we take a deeper and more detailed approach to address specific behaviors. This is where we build a comprehensive toolkit of targeted behavior management strategies. For example, if you're dealing with students blurting out, using disrespectful language, or being dishonest, these are all specific behaviors that require tailored approaches to address effectively. Heart-centered behavior management comes into play to handle these situations with compassion and understanding.

With Heart-Centered Behavior Management, we equip ourselves with the necessary tools to respond to various behaviors in a way that promotes positive growth and self-awareness in students. It goes beyond just addressing the surface level of behavior and delves into the underlying reasons behind their actions. By understanding the root causes, we can create meaningful interventions that support the social and emotional development of our students. This approach ensures that our responses are aligned with our ultimate goal of nurturing a caring and supportive learning environment for all students.

Amber: I find it fascinating too! Heart-Centered Behavior Management feels like another level of growth and development. Having experienced the value of heart-centered classroom management, I'm eager to take the next step and enroll in heart-centered behavior management. I know it will provide me with even more powerful tools to address specific behaviors and further enhance my teaching practices. It's an exciting opportunity to continue growing as an educator and create an even more positive and nurturing learning environment for my students.

Andriana: Heart-Centered Behavior management opened for the first time in November 2021, and now it's about to open again for a second round. Students who have been working through the program since the fall have shared their experiences with me, expressing how impactful and transformative it has been. They mentioned that they felt the need for better preparation because the program involves significant internal work. Some even likened it to a therapeutic experience. While this might sound intense, it's exactly what heart-centered behavior management is designed for—to help us peel back the layers and address our own emotional aspects so that we can effectively connect with and support our students on a deeper level.

By doing this internal work, we become more attuned to our own emotions and reactions, which, in turn, allows us to create a nurturing and supportive environment for our students. Heart-Centered Behavior Management equips us with the skills and insights to engage in more meaningful interactions with our students and address their needs more empathetically. The emotional depth of the program empowers us to foster stronger connections and understanding with our students, making a significant difference in their social and emotional growth.

Amber: It sounds to me like this approach opens the door to a completely clean slate of thinking about behavior. As a teacher with 13 years of experience, I don't consider myself a veteran, but I know many who have been in the profession for 30 years or more. Over time, they may have developed certain beliefs, thought patterns, and behaviors that aren't healthy. These issues not only affect their students but also their own mindsets. Sadly, this has led some teachers to leave the profession. 

However, I believe that there are simple strategies and new habits that, while not necessarily easy, can make a significant difference for everyone. That's what I'm passionate about—improving the classroom experience without forcing miserable teachers to stay. That's why I wanted to have you on this podcast—to open up the conversation to different ways of thinking, believing, feeling, talking, and behaving. Even a small shift in perspective can offer new opportunities for how we approach each day, and that's precisely why I am so committed to what I do. The Burned-In Teacher community aims to help educators tackle the root causes of their burnout, and behavior consistently emerges as a major concern. 

Classroom behavior can be the epitome of burnout-inducing challenges for teachers. By addressing these issues head-on and exploring alternative approaches, we can make a real difference in the lives of both educators and students alike.

So can you tell us how it is that people can find you where they can learn more? What are their next steps for getting some support from you?

Andriana: I would definitely suggest starting with my Instagram, as that's where my presence is the strongest. You can find me @the_active_educator. I'm sure you'll have this linked in your podcast notes as well. Additionally, my website serves as a one-stop shop, providing an overview of my various programs. It's a great resource for teachers to review and find what best suits their needs. And if any teachers are interested, I'd like to mention that registration for Heart-Center Behavior Management opens on April 26 and will be available for about five days. This course only opens a couple of times a year, so it's essential to keep that in mind.

Amber: And you told me you had something special for the listeners of the podcast. 

Andriana: Yes! When the course opens, your listeners can use this special discount code that will get them 10% off the program.

Amber: Thank you so much we appreciate that. 

Andriana: You’re welcome, I’m super excited. 

Amber: Thank you.  It was a pleasure talking with you. 


Now, before I sign off, I’m going to answer a couple of Ask BIT questions submitted by listeners of the podcast. 

The first question is from a teacher named Tana. She said, "I'm wondering about a special education support group. This year is hitting us very hard, especially in a self-contained program. The admin doesn't always know how to help because they don't understand it or know what to do. Also, sped teachers are being asked to do COVID protocols while kids have deficits that impede the demand to adhere to them. Is there a support group, or could I start one for sped folks to collaborate? 

I have so many answers to this question. The first thing you asked is if there is a support group out there, and my answer is 120% yes. I'm not a sped teacher, so I don't actively look for sped support groups, but I know you can find many on Facebook. One that I can personally recommend is Kara Gift. She is a sweet person who cares about serving special ed students and offers support for teachers. She has a Facebook group called "Gift Goodies for Education" and you can find her on Instagram at Kara Gift (@KARAGUIFF). Her mission is to help teachers perfect their craft and offer training in EdTech intervention, productivity, UDL, and managing paperwork.

Now, if you want to start a support group yourself, my answer is again 120% yes. Be the change you want to see. Look for teachers facing similar challenges, either in your school, district or among your friends in other schools. You can collaborate, read books together, follow educators on social media, or even dive into resources on TikTok. I understand that time might be an issue, but if it's important to you, make the time to search and find what you need. So, Tana, I encourage you to mark some time in your calendar this week to look for support and connect with Kara Gift for starters.

Next, we have an anonymous question about dealing with teachers who dismiss or hate coaches and tech specialists who don't teach in the classroom. This teacher said: It's our job to support these teachers, and many of us love to do it well. If that part of my job was better, it would reduce a huge amount of stress.

First, let's change the mindset of using the word "hate." Instead, think of it as a possible feeling of resentment or jealousy. It's important not to take it personally, as you don't know what battles they are facing. Remember that their struggles may cause them to dismiss you. So, try not to see yourself as the reason for their resentment. Seek to understand their challenges and come at conversations with vulnerability and a desire to support. Don't push solutions on them, but instead, ask how you can be a system of support for them. Building connections and trust takes time, so be patient.

If you need more resources or guidance on supporting teachers, check out my friend Gretchen Bridgers, the creator of the "Always a Lesson" podcast. She focuses on empowering teacher leaders, including instructional coaches. You can find her on alwaysalesson.com and Instagram (@alwaysalesson).

If you have more questions or need further support, feel free to ask another question at burnedinteacher.com/ask or join the Burned In Teacher Podcast Facebook community at facebook.com/groups/burnedinteacher. We are here to help you move forward with any challenges you're facing.



  1. Critically reflect on your mindset around students and their behaviors and think about how it may be contributing to the situation.
  2. Let go of preconceived notions of students and allow them to “start fresh”.
  3. Reflect on your day by talking about “Oops” and “Yay” moments that happened throughout the day (including your own) with your students.  



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