Teachers in Transition

Teachers in Transition - Episode 133 - The Slump Many Teachers Feel in October

October 14, 2021 Kitty Boitnott
Teachers in Transition
Teachers in Transition - Episode 133 - The Slump Many Teachers Feel in October
Show Notes Transcript

There is research to support that teachers go through a typical cycle every year. You can read about it and see a graphic of the cycle here:  https://www.washoeschools.net/cms/lib/NV01912265/Centricity/Domain/189/Program%20Information/Phases%20of%201st%20Yr%20Teaching%20Combined.pdf

In this episode, Kitty talks about this cycle and how it is becoming increasingly unsustainable.

If you decide you want to take advantage of Kitty's Birthday celebration by saving $100 on the DIY Jumpstart Your Job Search 2.0 Program, email Kitty at [email protected]


Kitty Boitnott:

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 burnt-out teachers just like you 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 in Transition." Welcome back to episode 133 of teachers in transition the podcast and the YouTube channel. My name is Katie Boyd and I am the owner of Boitnott Coaching, LLC, and the founder of Teachers in Transition. I consider myself a heart-centered career transition and job search coach to burnt-out teachers who are ready to make a change in their career, but don't know how or where to start. And I'm also a certified stress management coach. So if you've listened to this podcast or seen this YouTube channel in the past, you know that I alternate topics one week , I address career transitions , strategies and techniques, and , um , alternating weeks. I speak to this issue of stress management for teachers this week. The topic is stress. And my question to you to start us off today is are you starting to feel the October slump yet? Maybe you don't know what I'm referring to. Although I suspect you probably did. I was doing a Q and a session , uh , on a Facebook live the other night. And I mentioned the October slump and everybody just sort of nodded along. Yeah. We'd know what you're talking about in case you're not aware. And especially if you're a first-year teacher, you may not be aware that research has been done about the cycle that especially first through fifth year teachers go through, but I think it's pertinent for everybody. And it's probably a good reminder that if you're starting to feel unhappy and a little overwhelmed with everything at work, it's normal. So the graph you have to visualize if you're on the podcast yet, but the gray and , and on the YouTube channel, because I don't have the chart with me, but there is a graph that shows how in the beginning of the school year in September or late August, whenever you start for everybody, especially those new teachers, there's a sense of excitement almost to the point of euphoria that you finally have the job that you were wanting. You are going to be teaching kids. You love working with children and you just can't wait to get started and everything is glowy and happy and exciting. And you're just full of joy and enthusiasm. And as that begins to wear off, it's kind of like falling in love, you know, either the first throes of falling in love. And you're just over the moon, happy every time you see your significant other, but eventually sooner or later, even in the best of relationships, that feeling starts to wear off a little bit in teaching in the, in the cycle that goes along with teaching by about mid-October so about where we are right now, there's this, she accused slump. This drop-off like almost falling off a cliff because by October, you know, the kids are over it. They're not on their best behavior necessarily. You're exhausted because you've been staying up late at night, working on plans and grading. You're spending all of your waking hours on the weekends, trying to catch up and get ready for next week. And there is an endless number of meetings to attend to. So you never have time to truly catch up or to feel like you've got everything handled. Well, there's always something yet left to do. And that can take off the shine of , of any experience, a feeling of overwhelm, a feeling of what, what have I done? What have I gotten myself into? And it happens to the best of us, and it even happens to the veteran teachers. So if you're a new teacher and you're feeling this way, don't beat up on yourself, it's normal. Then you began to feel a little bit of hope as you start to look forward to Thanksgiving break. There's a sense of , uh, you know, I can, I can make it for mantle Thanksgiving. It's only a few weeks I can do it. And you're looking forward to having four long days holidays, probably where this year you're going to get to travel perhaps to see loved ones that you haven't seen in a long time. So you start to build up a sense of anticipation, again, not so much around school, but just around the calendar, looking forward to, and then right on the heels of Thanksgiving, there's the Christmas break or the winter break, depending on what you call it. And if you're lucky, that's a couple of weeks off, right? And then you come back, it's a new year. It's a new day. You start out all fresh because it's a brand new year, happy, happy. And then by February, you're sort of back into the slump and then you start looking forward to spring break. Spring break is just around the corner in February. As bleak as February can be. Spring break is on its way. You look forward to that time off, and there may be some other days sprinkled here and there. I know a Monday off a Friday off, even if it's a work day, it kind of feels like a day off. You get past spring break. And then there's that slog from spring break to the end of the year, that is full of the pre-testing and the testing and the analyzing and the testing and the post-testing and testing, testing, testing. It is nuts the way we test these days. And then there's the end of school and there's summertime . And during the summer, now here's the cycle. Here's what happens. This is why so many teachers stay stuck teaching even after they've realized that, you know, teaching isn't really what I'm meant to be doing. I can't tell you how many people I've talked to have said. You know, I knew six years ago that teaching wasn't for me, but I just kept going. I knew, I knew the first year that I wasn't cut out to be a teacher, but I just, I kept going. And here's how that can happen because you have that summer break. Now I know not everybody takes a break. I mean, out of 33 years in the classroom, I probably worked 25 to 27 of them. I didn't work every summer, but I worked my stuff because I needed to supplement my income. I mean, I needed a summer job. So I very often did summer school. I was the librarian for summer school, many, many, many years. I transcribed the county teacher policy manual one year, turned it digital. That was my job. That was the only job that I was paid well for doing that. And I've, I mean, I've done, I've done work almost every year during the summer. So I'm well aware that not trying to broad brush that everybody who teaches gets all summer off. I know you don't on the other hand, it's a different routine. Even if you're working another job, it's a different pace, unless you're, unless you're teaching some school. And even that, you know, summer school has a little different flavor to it. And it's short term. So it's a little different from the regular school year, but let's just go with the traditional calendar. So you start out in September, all excited, thrilled to be there, fresh, fresh start. All of that. Kids are happy. You're happy. You're getting to know each other. And then by the middle of October, it's like, can't wait to get to Thanksgiving. And then can't wait to get to Christmas, come back again, full of these diazepam, because you've had a break. You feel better. It's a new year. And then by February, even with Valentine's to break the monotony is he still sort of feel that slump. And then you start looking forward to spring break, and then you get through the slog of all the testing, and then you can breathe finally, it's summer. And then you have the reprieve and you tend to forget over the summer weeks, how difficult the previous year was, or it's very likely that even though, you know, in your heart of hearts, that you should be making a change. You don't have time. You're still caught up in your school business, making plans, grading papers, doing all the stuff that goes along with teaching. Well, you don't have time to start a job search whom? I mean, who am I kidding that you've got time to initiate a successful job search, especially if you don't really know what you're doing, you don't know how to, you don't know how to start. Really. You can Google it, but you can also find lots of contradictory advice on Google. One , one coach will tell you one thing and one will tell you something else. Who do you believe? Who do you follow ? So you get so caught up in your day to day grind that you don't have time to plan ahead, even for the next year, much less thinking about the next five years. But I want to challenge you to start thinking about where do you want to be in five years now ? Some of you are going to say retired and that's okay. Retirement. It's good. I'm working from home. As , as I refer myself often as a semi retiree, I'm an entrepreneur. Yeah, but it's not all what I do. And some I retired. I get up when I want to come to the office. When I feel like it, I do the things that I feel like doing. And then that's kind of it for me, I'm not one of those hardcore driven entrepreneurs. He's out there trying to make a million dollars. That is not who I am. It's not what I'm about. It's not what I want. What I want to do is to help teachers who are out there, who are struggling, who have come to the realization or who are in the midst of coming to the realization that teaching is not all that it was cracked up to be when they went into it on the Q and a session. The other night we were talking about how in 20 years, how much the profession has changed. Now , if you're new, if you've only been teaching a year or five years, you don't even know what I'm talking about. What do you mean it's changed? Trust me, it's changed. There was a time, a long time ago when teaching was still fun. Not that there weren't problems, not that we didn't have struggles, but it was still fun because we felt like we had some autonomy. We were trusted to teach. We were trusted as professionals. You don't often feel trusted anymore. I suspect to do the job, right. You're told exactly what to do. You're micromanaged to the point of it's absolutely ridiculous and many cases, not every but lots of cases. So what do you do? Well, you can decide that you're just going to embrace it and go with the flow. That's one way to help some of the stress dissipate. I was just reminding myself this morning of Kelly McGonigal's theory about stress based on a study that individuals that were followed over the course of a number of years, two groups, one group that saw stress is harmful and hurtful and a bad thing. Something to be avoided at all costs. The other group saw stresses positive and something to embrace and something that helped them to grow and to , to become more resilient and healthy. And over the course of years, what , what this study showed is that the people who were fighting stress, who were fearful of stress, who were trying to avoid stress, they died sooner than the group that embraced the stress because that group embraced it and grew from it as opposed to fighting tooth and nail. So that reminded me that when you're on this roll kind of rollercoaster of the teaching cycle, the ups and the downs and the slumps and the highs highs. Then if you go with it sort of like going with the flow of a river in a canoe or kayak, if you go with it, instead of trying to fight it, you'll , you'll feel whole lot better . Find ways that work for you, that help you to manage it more proactively eliminate the things that you can eliminate that may lighten your burden, your light , new load a little bit. And the other thing that you can do is to choose that this isn't what you want anymore . And to make the decision that you're going to do something differently this year. And maybe if you want this to be your last year of teaching. Now it's already middle of October. Since the average job search lasts anywhere from four to nine months, now's the time to get started on a job search. If you want this to be your last year of teaching. And even then there's no guarantee that that will be the case, but if you don't start, you'll never be able to make the change. So in my birthday is this week. So in honor of my birthday, I have been offering a hundred dollars off of the, do it yourself, version of my jumpstart , your job search program. Now that program, the a hundred dollars savings will be going away at midnight on the 13th. And you won't be hearing this podcast or seeing this YouTube channel until after the 13th, but I'm going to offer to you if you're listening to this podcast, if you're watching this YouTube video and you would like to have an opportunity to purchase the, do it yourself, version of the jumpstart, your job search program, what I mean by do it yourself is you get all of the modules from my jumpstart, your job search program. There are 15 of them, the first three offer. How do you decide what it is that you want to do next in your career? The modules three or four through 12 are all about the mechanics of a successful job search, understanding the applicant tracking system, learning how you need to rebrand yourself when you're job hunting, learning how to write a resume that conveys what your worth is in the language of the job description that you're applying for, how to write a compelling cover letter, how to create a stellar LinkedIn profile. These are all necessary tools. And then beyond that, you need to understand the importance of networking, the importance of using other social media platforms. Besides LinkedIn, the , the , the interview. Let's not forget that you locked down the offer that you want in an interview. So you have to prepare properly for the interview and execute it . And then the remaining modules are all about the importance of rinse. Repeat, repeat, repeat, continuing to be patient and persistent and persevering and understanding that this is a process that takes time. But if you get started now and you learn what you need to know to be successful, then chances of you're finding something new, sooner than later, increase exponentially. If you keep putting it off, you may never get started and you'll stay stuck for however long. So if you're interested in that hundred dollars off on the do it yourself, version of the jump , start your job search. Email me at kitty Boitnott at Gmail. Tell me that you heard about the offer on the podcast or in the YouTube channel. And I will offer you the link to the a hundred dollars off. It's normally a $297 program for my birthday. I'm offering it for one ninety seven. It's a bargain. I promise you it's chocked full of information. That's up-to-date about the proper way to approach a job search and how to create a strategy and how to use the tools that you need it . Teaching is becoming so stressful based on what I'm hearing from my clients and people that I talk to on a day-to-day basis. It feels like it's becoming unsustainable. I don't know if that's true or not, but that's how it feels to me. So figure out what you need to do for yourself to manage your stress. And if you're interested in the do it yourself, version of the Jumpstart Your Job Search Program, email me. I'll be happy to share the link with you. And that's it for this week. Hope you have a wonderful week and I'll see you next week. So there you have it, an episode of "Teachers in 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 at [email protected] If you are interested in finding a new career or just enjoying your life more, this is the place to start. I'm Kitty Boitnott and this is "Teachers in Transition."