This past week I have spent hours reading other classmates and other professional’s blogs and have been inspired with many things to write about! When asked by Dean to respond to a blog post we liked or that resinated with us I had a hard time picking just one!
The post I chose to respond to was one written by Rebecca, entitled Avoid the Burn. Rebecca talks about the dreaded “burnout” that many teachers experience. She goes on to share the ways in which she plans to avoid that burning out feeling in her future career. Some things she mention include: taking time for the things she loves, taking days off, and asking for help.
I think all three of these points are fantastic ideas of how to avoid that burning out feeling. As a teacher I think that the majority of us are passionate, driven and concerned about doing the very best that we can do for our students. This often causes us to spend a large majority or all of our time working on things for school, or worrying about it! In my internship I definitely experienced this, I felt that I was always doing school work, and if I wasn’t I felt that I should be!
One way to avoid this is to take one hour a day, and/or one day each weekend to yourself, to do the things you love, and to not worry about school. Now to me in internship this seemed impossible! I always had something to do! I was finishing things up the night before I was going to do them. I had a hard time walking away when there was things to be done. I think that if you are planned and prepared ahead of time, you will be less stressed and be able to spend more time re-energizing.
Family and friends are a huge part of my life, and through internship I hardly saw them at all. Weekends that I came home I spent working on lesson plans, pinning things on Pinterest, and marking assignments rather than enjoying the company of my family. It seemed like I couldn’t get ahead. I think it may be this ways sometimes for the first year or so, until we get more settled in but we need to be able to find a balance.
I think the best advice my co-op teacher gave me in internship was to not let it become your life. Teaching to me is a passion, and a career choice. I love finding new resources, improving lesson plans, buying books and connecting with other educators. I find it way to easy to devote every waking moment to teaching for this reason. It is way to easy for it to become your whole life, and it is important to stay balanced. Your health, your family, your friends and the things you love, are very important and in order to be a well rounded teacher it is important that you give yourself that time to relax.
Furthermore, the third point was about asking for help. I think this is vital as first year teachers. We are often stubborn, and/or afraid to ask for help. We want to do it all on our own, and feel like we are successful and not requiring anyone’s help. I never wanted to admit that I needed help, because it made me feel as if I had failed, or didn’t know what I should know! However, our colleagues, administration and educators around the world are there to help support us. Chances are they have gone through what you are dealing with, and would gladly help. Seeking help does not make you weak, it helps you become better. Good educators always want to improve, and seeking help can be the best way to do this. YOU ARE NOT EXPECTED TO KNOW IT ALL, only to try your best!
As we have learned in this class there is a vast amount of educators and other professionals around the world sharing their ideas, resources and advice. Seek out help and advice! You are helping yourself and your students by doing this!
Personally, as a teacher I plan to take time to exercise and stay healthy, spend time with my boyfriend and family, take an assigned amount of time per day or week to put the school stuff and thoughts away and relax. I plan to always seek help when I need it, lean on people for support, and continue to do things I love. I also plan to laugh. ALOT! I think the best way to enjoy your time in the classroom is to have a sense of humour. Things will go wrong, messes will happen, your lesson might blow up in your face, and you have to be able to laugh it off!
What do you do to, as Rebecca says, “avoid the burn?”
Share your ideas! 🙂