Episode #41: Begin Where You Are and Beat Teacher Burnout in 2019

Podcast Transcription

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Amber Harper: Hey there, Burned-In Teachers! Welcome to Season 3 and Episode 41 of The Burned-In Teacher Podcast. 

Alright, so for this episode I got 5 action steps that are going to help you to begin where you are this school year. In terms of being your burn out. But first, oh  my gosh I’m so excited about this. I want to tell you a little bit about how this season is going to go. I’m going to give you a trailer of sorts that helps you to understand and where this episodes are going to be going. As you go throughout the BIT Podcast Season so you can prepare yourself for some serious changes this school year. It comes to attention after multiple DMs, that ‘s direct messages, emails, podcast episodes, and one to one conversations that many teachers who have heard or heard of burned in teacher don’t quite understand why it’s called burned-in teacher and how it can help them. How I can help them? How any of the resources I created can helped them to identify and beat their burned out type. So this season is sort of an 8 month  unpacking or what burned-in means. And what the 8 steps process of becoming a burned-in teacher is all about. What you say? 8 steps process, tell me more. Well of course, I’ll be glad to. So you probably noticed that this episode is called “Begin Where You Are” right? Well, that’s exactly what “B” in burned-in stands for. See burned-in is an acronym if you haven’t listened to episode 4 way back almost a year ago by the way. When I first did a little bit of unpacking of what burned-in was or is rather and I just assumed that everybody would listen to that episode and know what it is. Well you know realistically, you may not have gone that far if you started listening to let's say on episode 23 so I decided that what I thought would be the most helpful for you is if each month of this season we spent time going very deep into that step of the burned in process. So every episode this month in September, is going to be about beginning where you are, reassessing and reflecting on your journey to how you got to this place of burnout to begin with and actionable steps you can take to really truly identify what has triggered your burnout in the first place. Next month in October, we’re going to move on to “Understand your teacher brand” That’s what “U” stands for in burned-in. “R” would be reflect on your challenges, that would be November. And then we move on month by month with “N” nurture your strengths. “E” extend your reach and possibilities, “D” determine your long-term goals, “I” Initiate r lasting change, and then the last month of the season would be “N” never settle.  So hopefully that helps you to understand a little bit if you’ve never heard the burned-in process. Now you know what it means and what I take teachers whenever I worked with them through the burned-in process either through the ebook or the burned-in teacher training course. So we’re getting started today with “Begin Where you Are” like I said a minute ago, I have 5 steps that I’m going to encourage you and challenge you to take this week hopefully or at least this month where you could start to begin where you are in identifying what has brought you to this place of burnout.

So step 1 is this: Step 1 is simply identifying what type of teacher burnout you're dealing with and if you have been a real listener to the burned-in teacher podcast you look at this already and you’ve taken it here’s something really interesting. There’s a member of my burned-in teacher tribe who has not only taken the quiz once but she’s actually taken it twice. When she took it back last spring she was feeling certain ways about her situation and current reality in education. And she went in through the burned-in process with me through my small group program and she’s continuing to be a really loyal participant and really active in our membership group and she just took it again the other day and actually as identified with a different type. So please don’t feel like I have felt like this before so this doesn’t apply to me. It totally applies to you because as you’ve heard me talked about before burnout doesn’t come once, and then it goes away and then you never have to deal with it again. This is a great place to start over if you find yourself struggling with different situations and different triggers that could be causing you to feel that burnout again. So if you find yourself in week 1 or week 3 of the school year already and some of us just went back a week ago and some of us have been in school since the beginning of August so no matter where you are the first steps I’m going to encourage you to go to burnedinteacher.com/burnoutquiz which you just heard the promo for that quiz because it is the number one way to really put a finger where you should start. It’s been a huge help for thousands of teachers who have taken this quiz so when you take the quiz you are going to come out to the other end and it’s very quick, by the way. It’s only 6 questions about 3 minutes depending on how deeply you read them and think about your answers but on the other end of the quiz it will identify you  as burned and over it, burned and unbalanced or burned and bored and there is also an option that says not burned out just need a slight adjustment. And that just means that maybe there’s just something you just can’t put your finger on a quiet yet, you're not really feeling burned out but you want to quit teaching but you just know there’s something off alright? So burned and over is where you may find yourself saying things like “No matter how hard I work I’ll be disappointed with the results” You’ve been surrounded by negativity and apathy and therefore you are feeling negative and apathetic. Burned and Unbalanced is the most popular outcome of the quiz. This is for hobbyist reasons, there’s so much to do and not enough time to do it and you are really struggling with balancing everything. And the third one is burned and bored, where you’re not feeling frustrated you’re just feeling a little under challenged. So that’s step 1, take the teacher burned out quiz, burnedinteacher.com/burnoutquiz super quick, totally free.

Now the next step is actually identifying your stage of teacher burnout that you are in. Okay so, once you take the quiz is you’re going to have the ability to download the teacher burned out chi-chi which is also free where I take you to three steps to actually begin this burned in process okay so what you gonna do is you get the chi-chi and second steps there in the second steps that I am talking to you about today is actually identifying your stage to what I have done is I broke down the ways that you will feel the things that you are doing,  or the things that you are thinking about in these different stages of burnout. So, I have 6 stages and they are, Stage 0 which is burned out, right? this is wanted to quit teaching you just cannot possibly go on this way. This next stage is Stage 1 that's build your spark, stage 2 is build your ignition, stage 3 is build your flame, stage 4 is build your fire and stage 5 is of course, burned-in. This is where you have very different feelings from that stage 0. So as you look at this stages, you can identify how you’re feeling, what you’ve done, or what you are currently doing or what you’re thinking about and you can just see how burned out you really are. This has been extremely powerful for people that I’ve worked with uhm especially let me tell you something. When I do break out sessions where I work with groups of teachers in a room, when they come in to see me, they look very ashamed, they’re hoping nobody saw them coming in the room and let me tell you when they take the quiz and they were able to name their type of burn out their shoulders relaxed, they sit back in their seats, they smile at the person sitting next to them. They have that child-like look like “that’s me, I’m not crazy.” “I can name this, these feelings that I’m having” and then to see them identify their stage and you night be a mixture of stage 0 and 1 like a 1.5 or 2.5 but being able to identify those things is extremely tactful. 


You heard that right, I am giving away Chapter 1 of the Burned-In Teacher Ebook for free to you. So that you can actually go through the steps not alone but with a step by step guide so go to burnedinteacher.com/begin right now or when you get to school if you’re on your way there or you get home get there and go to burnedinteacher.com/begin because I don’t want you to feel this way anymore and I want to give you any resource necessary to help you to feel different and do different. And so we’ve only gone through the first two steps so the other steps that I’m going to talk about here are in Chapter 1 which you can download for free. So, if you have already started to ask these questions will “Is she going to give away a chapter every month?” Well.. I don’t know maybe you’re gonna have to listen next month and see. 


Okay, so let’s move on to step 3 now of what you’re going to do this month to begin where you are. YOu can ask yourself this question, Now that you know your burn out type, you know your stage, you need to really think about how long you’ve been at this place and this is both physically and metaphorically. Alright, so asking yourself questions like “How long have I talked this grievable?” “How long have I worked in this building or this corporation?” or we call them corporations here in Indiana mostly but you know districts as well. You know how long have I worked for this principle? Uhm how long have I been in this physical classroom. And then you’re also asking yourself, How long have I felt this way? When did I have my first twinge of burn out? When did I first start questioning my choice to become a teacher? What is it that started to happen that really brought me to this place. See we’ve really gotta dig deep into the why of why we got to this place so that we can take the appropriate action steps. You know I’m all about self-care, did a whole self-care summer series this past summer but self-care is also taking action and taking care of yourself by really paying close attention and doing things you’ve never done before to get yourself out of these places of burn out and shame and isolation and frustration. All of those feelings that you may be feeling right now. So, you’re really gonna ask yourself you know, “How long have I been here?” both physically and of course with your feelings and your thoughts. 


Okay. So step 4 is you really need to identify who your people are. And this is really really important because in the steps coming up in the burned-in process we are going  to continually come back to your people and really when it comes down to is, who do you want to have the biggest impact on these changes that you’re making so are your people your students? Or maybe you have an excellent rapport with your students but you have a terrible relationship with your administration or your colleagues so who is it that you really need to work on building a bridge with rather than a wall. And I’ve written about that episode in the past building a bridge rather than a wall wherever you are faced with struggling relationship so identify your people is Step 4. 


And then Step 5 is what are your core values? What are the words that you are going to come back to when you have to make a tough decision or when things just get hard and you really need to think about coming back to your why and your purpose in your career. Now, Brené Brown suggests that you choose 2 and there are hundreds of words that you can choose from so if you go ahead and Google words for core values  or what not and maybe you’ve done this in the past really reassessing what your words are. My words are, empowerment and compassion and that is exactly what I’m trying to do here with the podcast. Coz I’m trying to empower you. I want to show you compassion because I have been there. I have been where you are. I have pride in my car on the way to work, I have felt ashamed and isolated and stuck and you know then I decided that I’m going to empower myself by doing research and taking action and that’s exactly what I want for you so identify your core values, write them down everyday, come back to them. Make a word cloud about them. I don’t care what you do but get those words in your face. Live and breathe them and knew them through your core. That’s why they’re called core values.


So there you have it, your 5 Steps to begin where you are and be teacher burnout in 2019. I’m hoping that you really internalize today’s episode. It’s a surely but it’s a goodie. So, Step 1 was take the teacher burnout quiz, identify your type that’s at burnedinteacher.com/burnoutquiz and if you choose to download the Chi-chi you are going to the next step which is identify your stage of burnout. Are you a stage 0? Are you a stage 2? Step 3 is then to really reflect. Think of how long you’ve been physically in this place of burnout and emotionally in this place of burnout. That’s this may take a while for some of you  may have been a couple of years you know or maybe 10 years my goodness. So you may have to really dig deep alright to find these answers. You may talk to some people too you know ask them when you started to change and they’ve noticed these changes and you as well. Step 4 is identifying your people, who are the people you want to have the biggest impact on. Who are the people that you want to change your relationship with? Alright. You’ve got to create that focus. And the 5th step is, Identifying your core values, those words that you’re going to come back to when things are hard or you have to make a tough decision. This will help you again to narrow your focus as you begin to take extremely actionable and impeccable steps out of burnout in this 2019-2020 school year. Alright! So That’s all I have for you for this first episode of season 3 of the Burned-In teacher Podcast and I want to leave you with this piece of advice, As you go in to your week and the agent of saint perfection Patty says, If this is not perfect, it’s not good enough to use or do. You’re gonna call on the agent of change, Try it out Trevor. You’re going to say, I am brave enough to try new things, make mistakes and learn from them. Alright as you’re trying these things you’ve never tried before, talk positively to yourself. You are your own hero. I’ll see you next week, burn on. 


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