Teachers in Transition

Teachers in Transition - Episode 78 - 7 Signs of Teacher Burnout

September 24, 2020 Kitty Boitnott
Teachers in Transition
Teachers in Transition - Episode 78 - 7 Signs of Teacher Burnout
Chapters
Teachers in Transition
Teachers in Transition - Episode 78 - 7 Signs of Teacher Burnout
Sep 24, 2020
Kitty Boitnott

Normally, I wouldn't be talking about teacher burnout until later in October, but this is not a normal year, is it? I know that a lot of teachers are feeling more overwhelmed than ever. They feel like hamsters on a hamster wheel. They are moving as fast as they can and not going anywhere.

If you are feeling overworked and overwhelmed don't know if you can call it "burnout" or not, check out this week's free gift. Download your copy of the checklist, "7 Signs of Teacher Burnout." It's free. If you answer even one of the questions on this checklist with a yes, you may be suffering from the start of burnout. Click this link to get your checklist:
https://teachersintransition.com/7-signs-of-teacher-burnout

If you feel you are approaching a breaking point and it's time to think about looking for a new career path, let's talk. Make an appointment for a 20-minute complimentary Discovery Session at http://teachersintransition.com/calendar.

Email Kitty at kittyboitnott@gmail for more information about services and programs available at Teachers in Transition.

Show Notes Transcript

Normally, I wouldn't be talking about teacher burnout until later in October, but this is not a normal year, is it? I know that a lot of teachers are feeling more overwhelmed than ever. They feel like hamsters on a hamster wheel. They are moving as fast as they can and not going anywhere.

If you are feeling overworked and overwhelmed don't know if you can call it "burnout" or not, check out this week's free gift. Download your copy of the checklist, "7 Signs of Teacher Burnout." It's free. If you answer even one of the questions on this checklist with a yes, you may be suffering from the start of burnout. Click this link to get your checklist:
https://teachersintransition.com/7-signs-of-teacher-burnout

If you feel you are approaching a breaking point and it's time to think about looking for a new career path, let's talk. Make an appointment for a 20-minute complimentary Discovery Session at http://teachersintransition.com/calendar.

Email Kitty at kittyboitnott@gmail for more information about services and programs available at Teachers in Transition.

Speaker 1:

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 burn out teachers disliking deal, not only with the stress and overwhelm of 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. Boitnott welcome to teachers and transition. Welcome back to episode 78 of teachers in transition the podcast and the YouTube channel. My name is kitty . Boitnott the founder of teachers in transition and the owner of [inaudible] coaching. It is not yet the end of September. I'm recording this in fact on the 21st of September. And yet what I plan to speak to today is teacher burnout. Like I said, it's not even the end of September yet. I we're way ahead of schedule. But I'm hearing from teachers who are teaching remotely. Some are teaching hybrid. Some are teaching both in the class and are expected to offer instruction remotely as well. They are scrambling to figure out new ways to engage their students and get students engaged in their lessons. They're being asked to, to prepare multiple lessons a day in multiple modalities. And as one of my friends on Facebook posted just a few days ago, this one day has been 10 in one. That's the sense of overload, the sense of overwhelm, the sense of having too many expectations and too much placed on your shoulders and those kinds of feelings that that sense of being asked to do more than you can physically and mentally handle leads to burnout. Now, a few weeks ago, I talked about the burnout that has just sort of evolved from working from home work, from home burnout. And the idea was that people who were working from home were having a difficult time creating a demarcation between what was work life and what was home life. And as a result, they were working over hours. They were doing more than they would have ordinarily done if they had been in the office in any given day. And then they have the added duties of dealing with their children's schooling, right ? And figuring out what to do in that realm, along with all the other dynamics that go along with a happy family life, you know, you, you can't just drop everything and ignore your relationship during a time like this, that now we need our , our partners more than ever. Our children need us more than ever. And so we are weighted down with all of the expectations that we put on ourselves, as well as the expectations that are others have placed on us. So even though it's not yet the end of September, usually the sense of burnout that I'm thinking, a lot of people are already feeling doesn't start to occur until midnight , late October, a regular year with a regular sort of cycle. By this time I'm of the year, people were still sort of in the honeymoon stage with their students and they're still figuring out what their routine is going to be, but they've pretty much fallen in to a day to day rhythm that I suspect is not falling into place these days as easily as it would in normal circumstances, but we're not living in a normal world in any way, shape or form. There's no normal about any of what we're having , having to deal with these days. And so what I want to share with you are the warning signs that you need to be on the lookout for, in yourself to help you to ward off, or at least two proactively deal with more effectively deal with your burnout, if it is, is brewing. So here are questions. I came up with these a number of years ago when I first went into business and I became an expert on job burnout because that's how I started in this business. I had burned out from my previous job as president of the Virginia education association, because I hadn't taken good care of myself and creating demarcations between work and any kind of home life. I was on the road a lot. I traveled a lot. I was , um , on stage a lot. I was just, I was working 24 seven and it didn't help that in my last year as president, I lost not one beloved pet, but two and the span of 11 days. And I didn't have time to let myself grieve for those dogs. I've had one with me for 16 years and one for 15 years. And they died within 11 days of each other. And I was too busy to take time off, to take care of me so that by the end of that spring, I was feeling like burnt toast. And as a result, I took early retirement and I started this business and I now help other teachers who are feeling burnt out, stressed to the max, overwhelmed, unsure how to deal with the day to day demands that are put upon you . And I came up with this checklist of seven signs of teacher burnout. Now other people in other jobs can also burn out. And I suspect that right about now. We've got a lot of medical people who are suffering from burnout, from nurses AIDS , to nurses, to doctors, to you name it. The , the people who clean the hospitals to the greeters. Everybody is stressed to the max. And after all these months, beginning to suffer from burnout. So this is not burnout is not unique to teachers, but since I mostly work with teachers, this checklist is, is directed at teachers who may want to consider becoming teachers in transition into another career at some point down the road. So I want to ask you these, these questions, and I want you to consider, honestly, you don't have to tell me, but be honest with yourself, how you feel when you hear these questions. So question number one. Do you find yourself dreading going to work, feeling anxious or depressed on Sunday night before having to go to work on Monday? Now, if you're working remotely, you're, you're not technically going to work, but you still have a start time. So, and hopefully you're taking some time on the weekends, but by Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening, do you start to feel a sense of dread about starting fresh on Monday? Or are you excited if you're excited and you're looking forward to getting back with your kids on Monday, then this isn't a problem for you burn out. It's not an issue, but if you start to feel a sense of, Oh gosh, another Monday, that's a sign. So be on the lookout for it. If it hasn't occurred yet it might down the road be aware that it's one of the signs of burnout. Second question. Do you feel stuck and unhappy because you don't see room for advancement or promotion. I work with a lot of teachers who know in their heart and they know in their soul, their heart of hearts, deep down in their soul, that they were made for greater things than being in the classroom forever. They've enjoyed the classroom for however long they've been there, but they've outgrown it. It's not about being burned out as much as it's about be ready to move on, ready to take the experiences that you've accumulated over the years and use them in a new realm, in a different sort of background and making a different kind of contribution. And in teaching, if you've never taught, you might not have thought about this, but in teaching, there, there are no promotions except into administration. And those positions are limited and not, everybody's cut out to be an administrator. You could be a great class. This is a mistake that a lot of people make. You can be a great classroom teacher and a horrible administrator and vice versa. But in education, there are not that ninny , interim places that you can aspire to grow into. There's no mid management level. I mean, there's an assistant principal, but it's still administration. And not at not every teacher aspires to be an administrator. I certainly never did. So think about, do you feel like the opportunities that you have as a teacher or too limited to limiting and that you are ready for something greater in your life where you can really fulfill your own sense of destiny and fulfillment and sense of purpose and mission. If you do feel any of that, you need to pay attention to it. The third question is, do you feel that you have control over your classroom and curriculum, or do you feel that all of the major decisions are made for you and you must comply or else I have one client for whom this whole idea that administrators who've been out of the classroom for decades in some cases have forgotten what it was like to be in the classroom. And they come up with all these ideas for what the teachers need to do and how to implement them. And they have no clue what the teachers are really dealing with. And she's, she's become very frustrated with that, which is why she's one of my , Yeah , every, every job has its quirks. It's, you know, the limitations and , and you're not going to love every boss you ever had, but if you feel like you have no control over your day to day activity, because everything is dictated from the central office or from the politics and the legislature then, and you feel constricted by that, you're losing patients with that. Then that's a sign of impending burnout. Number four, do you feel disillusioned because teaching isn't what you thought it would be. This is why I'm about 50% of the teachers who are in the classroom. In the first five years, they tend to leave the classroom and I need to pull up my period , sorry, I didn't have my last page or their questionnaire about 50% men, maybe not quite 50% of teachers who start teaching in , um, in their career thinking they're going to be there for the long term leave within five years and another good portion leave in the next five years teaching. Isn't what it used to be. It's not in , in a lot of cases. It's not what teachers thought it was going to be. If they start out teaching in a difficult environment where they don't have the support of their administrators or their parents and the students don't respect authority. And increasingly that, that is a problem. Classroom management is a problem because students, children aren't being taught the importance of at least listening to the adult in charge. Now I'm old school and I grew up old school and my daddy used to say, whoever the adult in charge is you listen to them and you don't give them any backtalk. You just do what they tell you to do that went for the bus driver so that I wasn't a problem on the bus. It went for every teacher I ever had and every adult Sunday school, all, all the way up, every time we were on a group trip, like a field trip or a church trip, the admonition from my dad was you listened to whoever the adult in charge is. Students don't do that anymore. Now let's face it in some cases that that teaching led to some abuse by some adults over the years. And there are horrific stories of children who have been abused sexually and otherwise because they listened to the adult in charge and adults. Some adults took advantage of that. I was lucky that that never happened to me. And if you're listening to this and that did happen to you, I am so, so sorry. But in order to effectively teach, you have to have some modicum of control. You have to be able to demand that students listen, and if they don't listen, they're not going to learn. And if you have children who aren't learning, then you aren't able to do your job, which is to teach and having children who don't respect you or the authority of your position as their teacher, that's a problem. And it can create more problems as you go along. So if you feel that way, if you feel like you're at, you know , you don't have any control that that's a sign of burnout. Number five, where are you having trouble with sleep? Because you're worried about your finances, your students, or your general sense of overwhelm . I don't have to tell you teachers don't make enough money to , to get from one , one end of the month to the other. For years, I, I did two jobs and, you know , lift fairly conservatively. It wasn't like I was spending a lot of money going on a lot of trips or doing a lot of fancy things. I just didn't have enough. Especially after my roommate left, I had a roommate for awhile and then she moved on and I was trying to manage a house payment and all the other expenses that go along with living, just living. And I would sit down with my budget every month and try to figure out how to make things stretch to the end of the month. And it was hard. So I took jobs to help me supplement my income. So finances can be a real problem for you, but the sense of overwhelmed , just not being to keep up, that'll be enough to keep you awake too at night. And then of course you're tired and not as alert and unable to concentrate and focus. And that just adds to the problem of the sense of overwhelm . So it becomes a really difficult cycle for you to deal with number six, are you lacking the energy and drive you need in order to be consistently productive and effective on the job. Now that lacking in energy, that could be the result of the lack of sleep, or it could be a sign of a low grade or impending depression and depression is a sign of burnout or could, could be , uh , uh, it goes along with the burnout. So be aware of that, a low energy in an inability to consistently perform on the job. And number seven, are you having physical issues, such as headaches, backaches, gastrointestinal issues, or other ailments. Those are physical manifestations of too much stress in your life. Some people get headaches. Other people get gastrointestinal issues, any kind of physical manifestation of your stress is a sign it's it's like telling you, your body is telling you, you are overwhelmed and you need to be taking better care of yourself. So I'm going to post this checklist in the show notes for today. And if you feel like you answered even one of these questions in the affirmative, I want you to pay special attention to it. Don't slough it off. As you know, everybody's stressed because putting up with stress for the long term leads to burnout. And once you hit the point of burnout, it's really difficult to cope with your job and all the other parts of your life. So I want you to be proactive and try to deal with some of these issues that the ones that you can, there are some things that will be outside of your control, but at the end of the day, if you were experiencing teacher burnout and you are not enjoying yourself and you're feeling like there must be something else out there that you could be doing instead, you might want to take a look at the program that I offer to teachers and mid career professionals who are ready to make a career change. Because the stress that you're feeling now will ultimately make you sick. If you don't make a change, it's not a matter of if it will make you sick. It's a matter of when and how this , how the illness will show up because certain kinds of cancer can be the result of overload, stress and overload, high blood pressure, heart issues. Diabetes can be exacerbated by stress. So if you're experiencing any of these signals of teacher burnout, I want you to take it seriously and do what you can to take care of yourself. And at the end of the day, consider, are you prepared to teach for another 10 or 15 or 20 years, depending on how far you are long in your profession. And if you're excited about teaching, then this this message wasn't for you. But if you're beginning to feel that sense of dread on Mondays and you're , you're fighting like tooth and nail to get through to Friday, and by Friday, it feels like 10 days in one, maybe time for you to make a change. Just say , that's it for this week. Hope you have a wonderful week where regardless of what's going on, please stay well, be safe. Take care of yourself. I'll talk to you next week. So there you have it. An episode of teachers in transition. I hope you enjoy 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 at kitty boy , not at boys , not coaching.com. If you are interested in finding a new career or just enjoying your life more, this is the place to start. I'm Katie Boitnott and this is teachers and transition.