On this episode, Stephanie shares with us how a conversation with me, over a year ago, made her realize how unhappy she was in her then current place in her career. She began to seek out other opportunities for her and, although she admits that it was scary, she’s so glad that she did!
It happens differently for all of us.
We’re on our way to work. We’re chatting with a friend. We wake up in the middle of the night to a realization. That moment where burnout rears its ugly head and says something like, “I don’t want to teach anymore.” or “Ugh… here goes another boring week at school.” or “It’s Day 1… only 179 days until Summer Break. I’ll get through it.”
It’s a deep, dark place and if you don’t call it what it is ASAP and do something about it, you could be in for a really rough few years (or worse) career in education.
Unfortunately, if you’ve either heard my story on The Burned-In Teacher Podcast or read it here on the blog, you know that I fought and fought and fought against the burnout for YEARS and was no better for it.
After my interview this week with Stephanie, on Episode #006, I’ve been reflecting a lot on what that ‘first step’ that we talk about could look like for different teachers, because our stories of burnout are so different and specific to our situations. So, here’s what I’ve concluded:
It’s that simple and that difficult all at the same time.
So, how do you surrender to burnout? Simple. Say it out loud. (Go ahead. Do it.)
If you want to put a name to your burnout TAKE THE TEACHER BURNOUT QUIZ that I created. It will help you name your burnout and, if you download The Teacher Burnout Cheat Sheet, you can identify your stage of teacher burnout.
(You can do that right now too.) Just do a complete and total brain dump of all of the reasons that you think you are going through burnout. Go through your current reality and list everything… really go for it too. Don’t hold anything back. Even have a good cry.
Hopefully, if you’re here reading this post, you’re familiar with BURNED-IN Teacher and my mission to support teachers going through burnout. I encourage you to read all of the blog posts that outline what BURNED-IN stands for.
You can also go to iTunes or Google Play and download a few episodes of The Burned-In Teacher Podcast where teachers tell their stories of burnout and burn-in and experts offer their advice as well. (You can also go to www.burnedinteacher.com/podcast and listen there. )
Then, join our private and free Burned-In Facebook Group and tell us about you and what you want for yourself and your career. We’ll help you get there.
If you choose to do neither of those things, that’s ok. You need to do what you feel is best for YOU. I wish you the best and want you to be the happiest, most fulfilled human you can possibly be. Just know that I believe in you and that YOU are your own hero.
Stephanie starts off by telling us that, although she loved her school, her team, and her administrator, she had felt that in her career, she was out of control. She was tired, even felt depressed about how much she felt like she was on this “hamster wheel” as she called it.
Coincidentally, I had just started interviewing teachers for the BIT Blog and I was asking everyone I knew if they would allow me to interview them. She agreed and we had a great discussion about her feelings about her career.
Throughout the interview, she said many things that made her feel sad for herself as she read the blog post about two weeks later. Stephanie said that she didn’t want to sound that way or feel that way, so she talked to her husband and started looking for other options.
About a year later, she had the opportunity to move to a different position within her school that she loves so much, and had many reservations about whether or not to take it. She ultimately did, and was so pleasantly surprised that she did.
She wants others to know that, although change is scary, she encourages you to listen to your words and your feelings and if you’re unhappy with the way that you sound, take the first step to change your situation, even though it may be scary.