Teachers in Transition

Teachers in Transition - Episode 19 - Results of a Teacher Burnout Survey

August 01, 2019 Season 1 Episode 19
Teachers in Transition
Teachers in Transition - Episode 19 - Results of a Teacher Burnout Survey
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Teachers in Transition
Teachers in Transition - Episode 19 - Results of a Teacher Burnout Survey
Aug 01, 2019 Season 1 Episode 19
Kitty Boitnott

In this episode, Kitty Boitnott, Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach shares some findings from an article she found entitled, "7 Conclusions from the World's Largest Teacher Burnout Survey" by James Anthony

The article may be found at https://notwaitingforsuperman.org/.

The survey may be found at https://notwaitingforsuperman.org/teacher-burnout-assessment/.

Kitty's "7 Signs of Teacher Burnout" may be accessed at https://kittyboitnott.lpages.co/7-signs-of-teacher-burnout/

And Kitty's ebook (which is free to download) entitled, Stressed, Stretched, and Just Plain Overwhelmed:  A Guide to Managing Your Stress and Developing a Greater Sense of Work-Life Balance, may be found at https://kittyboitnott.lpages.co/ebook/.

If you have any questions about this episode or any of the resources made available, please contact KittyBoitnott@gmail.com.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Kitty Boitnott, Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach shares some findings from an article she found entitled, "7 Conclusions from the World's Largest Teacher Burnout Survey" by James Anthony

The article may be found at https://notwaitingforsuperman.org/.

The survey may be found at https://notwaitingforsuperman.org/teacher-burnout-assessment/.

Kitty's "7 Signs of Teacher Burnout" may be accessed at https://kittyboitnott.lpages.co/7-signs-of-teacher-burnout/

And Kitty's ebook (which is free to download) entitled, Stressed, Stretched, and Just Plain Overwhelmed:  A Guide to Managing Your Stress and Developing a Greater Sense of Work-Life Balance, may be found at https://kittyboitnott.lpages.co/ebook/.

If you have any questions about this episode or any of the resources made available, please contact KittyBoitnott@gmail.com.

Speaker 1:
0:01
Are you a teacher who's feeling stressed out and overwhelmed? Do you worry that you're feeling symptoms of burnout or are you sure you've already gotten there? Have you started to dream of doing some other kind of job or perhaps pursuing a whole different career, but you don't know what else you're even qualified to do? You don't know how to start a job search. You just feel stuck. If that sounds like you, I promise you're not alone. My name is Kitty Boitnott. I'm a career transition and job search coach and I specialize in helping burnout, teachers' disliking deal, not only with the stress and overwhelm with your day to day job, but to consider what other careers might be out there waiting for you. Join me for teachers in transition. In some episodes I'll be speaking to stress management techniques and how you can manage your stress on a day to day basis. In other episodes, I'll be talking about career transition. What tools do you need to be successful in a job search when you're moving from one career into a totally different track? These are questions that you need answers to and I can help you find those answers. My name is Kitty Beutner. Welcome to teachers in transition.
Speaker 2:
1:28
Hi, this is Kinney Voice of teachers in transition, the youtube channel and the podcast, and this week I'm talking a little bit about stress again and stress management strategies and techniques and what you might need to know. In particular about teacher burnout and burnout in gym. Last week I talked about our career transition strategy in this weekend, talking about stress, so I ran into too an article just today that was posted on June 20th, 2019 by James Anthony and I'll post the link to his article in the notes. This particular article is entitled seven conclusions from the world's largest teacher burnout survey. What I learned about Mr. Anthony is that he operates our company that also dedicates itself to helping teachers figure out what life after teaching can entail and not to be waiting for someone to come save you if you are suffering from symptoms of burnout because no one is coming here.
Speaker 2:
2:41
You're the only one who can manage your burnout and take care of yourself. So he asked seven questions and he came up with based on the results so far, this was on June 20th which is today's July 30th so almost six weeks ago as of that date, 6,993 so almost 7,000 teachers had completed Mr Anthony's teacher burnout assessment tool, which you can also find online. And he came up so far with seven conclusions and I want to share those with you today and you see if they resonate for you as issues that you may have dealt with if you identify yourself as a burnout teacher. So the first question is how many hours do you work on average each week? And the responses were 12% 35 hours, 38% 40 to 45 hours, 46% 50 plus hours, and then 4%. I work every moment I'm awake, which means when they're not asleep, they're way there.
Speaker 2:
4:05
I'm working. So he drew from that, that teachers just beginning to profession, uh, in the, in the very start, you know, the first two or three years of the profession will be surprised at the level of commitment which the job requires. Um, I, I'm assuming that what he determined was that newer teachers were working more hours than more veteran teachers each week, simply because they don't have the store of, um, lesson plans and experience that they need to draw on. And as time goes on, and it does become a little bit easier as you go, but it's still, for a lot of teachers, even the more veteran teachers, they're working many hours a week in order to keep up with their, their workload. So another question that he asked, the second question was, um, are you sleeping easily and how much do you sleep per night? So 26% said that they sleep easily and get seven hours minimum each night.
Speaker 2:
5:22
31% said, I don't sleep enough in the week, but I catch up on the weekend. 32% said I sleep less than six hours a night, pretty regularly and 11% offered that they suffer from insomnia and have trouble sleeping. He said, um, that his conclusion from what he found from that particular question was that it's almost a badge of honor for some teachers who boast of the tiny amounts of sleep they have, as if doing so shows their commitment or their strength he offers it. This is a dangerous behavior as regularly getting less than seven hours of sleep per night is linked to numerous health problems, including lower life expectancy. And my work has certainly backed that assumption up in my stress management workshop I offer to my participants that research indicates that the average adult needs between six and a half and eight hours of sleep per night.
Speaker 2:
6:38
So if you're getting less than seven, I'm closer to the six and a half. You might be in an okay spot, but if you're getting six and a half hours of sleep and you're one of those people who needs seven to eight in order to operate at your maximum productivity, you're still not getting the sleep that you need in each one of us has our own set point at which we need a certain number of hours per night, not just sleep, the quality sleep that allows us to rest and rejuvenate our body, our mind and our spirit so that we can get up the next day to face them. And the challenges that teachers wind up facing on any given day. So if you're one of those people who's not getting enough sleep and you think that that's a badge of honor, you need to rethink that assumption. It's not. He says, um, he's asked the question about do you have a social life and how well do you balance Your Life? Um, 35% said they feel like they have a balance between their work life and home life. That's only 35% that's not anywhere near 58%. So they have a social life because they get out regularly and they spend their time on themselves. That 57%, well over half said they don't have much time for their own lives because their job takes too much of their time or most of their time.
Speaker 2:
8:25
He offers as a conclusion to that finding that a majority of schools were failing to prioritize work life balance for their teaching staff and that, that they have unrealistic expectations of them instead. And I certainly think there's some truth to the unrealistic expectations of parents certainly expect you to give 110% of everything that you have. Administrators expect you to be there all hours of the day and night, um, for meetings that are voluntary and required. And if you don't show up, that somehow creates a black mark on your record that you're not as committed is they think you should be overlooking the fact that everyone needs to have some work life balance in order to avoid the very burnout that could lead to a teacher leaving the classroom prematurely. And you know, everyone comments on how more than 50% of teachers leave their first five years of teaching, but no one is really addressing why that is or what could be done about it to keep those teachers because many of them have tremendous potential.
Speaker 2:
9:48
Many of them have talent that we're losing because we're expecting them to give up too much of themselves and too much of their lives in order to the teachers who have high expectations of themselves, but also the high expectations that are placed on them by society at large. And those expectations are often misplaced. When asked the question, um, are you happy? Let's see what the specific question is having to do with happiness and, and sense of their rotation. Uh, 1230 2% said that they feel happy and enjoy a bit of banter. So a good relationship with their students. 32% said that they're easily irritated by the behaviors and attitudes of their classes at school. And 36% find themselves feeling irritated at school and in their home life too. And I would offer that that is probably the result of what's going on at work. My, my mantra is work that feels fulfilling leads to a better life.
Speaker 2:
11:13
And that when you are in a job that you don't find fulfilling anymore, that that bleeds over into every other area of your life, including your relationships, your health and your ability to be as productive as you would like to be. From that particular question. Mr. Anthony drew the conclusion that stress at work is a very real problem for many teachers. And this has made significantly worse in many schools by a blame culture, which discourages teaching staff from sharing how they feel. And I, I suspect he's right about that because there is a, in a lot of schools, especially the schools that are high risk schools, the ones where there is a danger each year of losing accreditation or being listed, um, you know, as some sort of warning that the students aren't performing as well as they should, should in quotes, um, that the teachers are blamed for that, that students aren't and the parents aren't. And the administrators often aren't to the same degree that teachers are. So that blame culture begins to wear on you and has a negative effect.
Speaker 2:
12:42
Um, another question was about how hard teachers were working and how tired they felt. 7% said that they work hard with, they have the energy to do the work. 35% offered that they find themselves getting tired most days, but then they catch up on the weekend, sort of the same as with their sleep and then 58% offered that they were tired all the time and often can't wait for the next holiday or break from school to rest up. And that leads to um, that teacher cycle. I'll, I'll post that in the notes too. I've written about how the calendar has a cycle to it that tends to keep teachers stuck in their career for sometimes longer than they're physically able to keep up with it because they just, they hang on from one break to another. And then from the fun, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, from Christmas to spring break from spring break to summer. And then, you know, holidays and snow days in between work, teacher work days, occasionally creative break and years can go by before the cumulative effect of the burnout catches up with people because they have that summer respite to sort of catch up and to feel better and feel like next year's going to be better. Uh, and an answer to a question about how, um, how teachers are dealing with the stress of, of their job.
Speaker 2:
14:33
He says that 26% offer that they moan a bit, that it's always lighthearted and fun. 54% offer that they find themselves complaining quite a bit, but then they help each other. The teachers on staff help each other and 20% say the conversations they have are almost always complaints and they can't see resolution for any of the problems that they discuss. And that leads to a sense of hopelessness. He says the conclusion he's drawn from that is that the current focus on accountability in many schools has again resulted in a blame culture, which discourages teachers from sharing their problems in response to physical symptoms that people may be feeling, including shortness of breath, dizziness, heart palpitations or chest pain or regular headaches or stomach aches. Um, 30 it looks like about 38% responded that they have regular headaches or stomach aches, uh, 16% heart palpitations or chest things of 15% dizziness, 10% shortness of breath, and about 22 to 23%. Not experiencing any of those particular physical symptoms, but he offers his, his seventh conclusion that there are not many professions which make employees feel this physically unwell in the normal course of their duties. School teachers who relentlessly focus on improvement and external inspections risk their employees health as a result.
Speaker 2:
16:32
So they basically what he found is that teachers are experiencing high levels of stress. That stress is leading to high levels of burnout. And for some teachers, um, the need for finding stress relief is critical and starting to practice practice more self care strategies is critical to your ability to continue to do your job. Now for some people and many of the folks that I wind up working with, they've determined that it's not worth it to try to figure out how to do the work life balance thing anymore. They just want to find a different job. One where they are not expected to work 60 to 70 hours a week where they're not expected to give up an entire weekend for lesson planning and grading papers of position where they're not required to do after School GDS, like coaching the cheerleading squad or you know, the sponsoring of a club that they may or may not be all that interested in or invested that they want just to be able to go to work, do their job and then come home so that they have more quality time to spend with their own family.
Speaker 2:
18:02
And many teachers that I talked to share the concern that sometimes they feel like their own children are getting the short end of the stick because they're spending so much of their waking hours dealing with the severe problems of their students and they're spending hours after school tutoring or doing the mediation with some of their students, trying to get them ready to pass the test and it's comes at the expense of their own family and it becomes a hardship at some point. Now, I had one newlywed say to me once awhile back, she didn't feel like she had time for her new husband. She said, I never get to see him during the week because I'm always at school. She was a drama and theater teacher in addition to being an English teacher. So when she wasn't teaching during the Regular School Day, she was coaching the, the drama club and preparing a theatrical, um, program that would be offered, you know, once or twice during the school year.
Speaker 2:
19:14
Music teachers often have to do a lot of extra work getting their students ready for musical performances and people take that kind of commitment. And dedication for granted. Now they consider that it's part of the job. Well, yeah, so maybe it is, but it still takes a toll on the individual he was having to put in the extra hours and the extra effort. So if you're a teacher you may be, you might be interested in taking a look at that survey, you might be interested in doing your own survey results. I also offer seven signs of teacher burnout and I asked similar all that slightly different questions so I'll post the link to that as well and I will post a link again to the 70 and the ebook that I've written called stressed, stretched and just plain overwhelmed where I offer seven very specific strategies or techniques, day to day activities or practices that you can undertake that will help you to feel a little less stretched, a little less stressed, and a little more in control of your own day to day life. That's it for today. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email@kittyboitnottatgmail.com offer a review for this podcast episode. I'm subscribed to it so that you will know when the next episode drops and feel free to do the same for the youtube channel. Subscribe so you'll know when the next episode comes out next week. That's it for today. Have a wonderful week and I hope to hear from you soon.
Speaker 1:
21:07
So there you have it, an episode of teachers and transition. I hope you enjoyed the information and I hope you'll plan to come back. Please subscribe to teachers in transition so that you can be alerted of future episodes. And let me know if you have any questions or topics that you would like me to specifically cover in a future episode. I'm more than happy to help with individual questions as well. So email me@kittyboitnottatboitnottcoaching.com if you are interested in finding a new career or just enjoying your life more, this is the place to start. Hi, I'm Kitty Boitnott and this is teachers in transition.
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