It’s Your Classroom- Don’t Forget It

regaining teacher autonomy

As a teacher, it can be hard to maintain your autonomy.

The district, principals, other teachers, and parents—all may want to have a say in how you do things in your classroom.  This tug-of-war between politicians, teachers, and parents can leave teachers frazzled and exhausted. This is my advice for teachers to take back some of their autonomy and love their jobs.

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Beating Teacher Burnout III- Dealing with Disrespectful Students and Parents

disrespectful students advice for teachers

Teachers face disrespect; facing disrespect is tiring; disrespect causes some teachers to burnout and leave teaching. These are stories of real teachers and the disrespect they faced. Their names have been changed to protect their identities:

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Beat Burnout II- Ways for Teachers to Make More Money

How teachers can earn more money

When I began teaching years ago, I entered the profession with dear friends, people I knew to be the most resilient, kind, and ambitious. Within six years, half of these friends had left the teaching profession burnt-out, tired, and bitter.

Research across countries shows us that teacher attrition is generally higher than in many other professions, with attrition among teachers cited as affecting 30-40% of our profession.

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Beating Teacher Burnout—10 Tips for Work-Life Balance

teacher work life balance burnout

If you’re a frequent reader of the news, you will likely agree with me that the conversation about teaching in the last few years has been telling.

With headlines such as “Teacher Stress is Killing My Profession” (CBC), “Overwhelmed Canadian Teachers are Quitting in Droves” (The Epoch Times), and “Frustration. Burnout. Attrition. It’s Time to Address the National Teacher Shortage” (NPR) circulating the press, we know these are troubled times in teaching.

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Your Sanity- 4 Procedures to Protect It

classroom procedures for teachers

 

Nobody wants to become THAT teacher. The teacher that has given up on teaching, treating his or her classroom as a holding cell from 8 AM to 3PM, and a place for hungry and haggard inmates—teachers and students—to escape from at the first ring of the end-of-day bell.

Nobody wants to become THAT teacher. The teacher that photocopies his PowerPoints and throws these packages at students with the instructions: “Silent reading, then summarize.”

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The Happy Teacher Habits by Michael Linsin (Summary & Review)

Happy teacher habits
You too can be a happy teacher.

Do you feel tired and exhausted during the school year and not sure what to do about it?

Do you wish your lessons were better, but you just don’t have the time for late-nights planning at home?

Do you wish you had time each work night to enjoy family dinner and the hobbies that, prior to teaching, were once part of your life?

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Stop Stressing About Teaching–It’s Never Worth It

 At my father’s funeral on a rainy day twelve years ago, the church was nearly empty and only two people cried.

My mom and I cried, and everyone else present stood dry-eyed, unperturbed, that a man who had lived 42 years on this Earth would be buried under mud.

But I don’t blame them. I know why they didn’t cry.

My dad was a man of integrity. But when he died in an accident, he was a shadow of his former self.

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You’re Not “Just” a Teacher–Self-Respect for Teachers 101

It’s the little things that chip away at your sense of self-respect as a teacher. The parent that screams at you over the phone at the end of the day because you disciplined his child. The parent who, across the table at a parent-teacher interview, tells you how to teach writing.  Another parent who has a gripe with you, and instead of talking with you, emails your principal.  The child who says, “My mom said that those who can’t do, teach.”  The strangers who call your job “glorified babysitting.” Or the child you tutor who tells you that in his home country, he had two teachers who he called servants.

Yes, all of this has happened to me.

I can imagine you have experienced these moments too. You have been treated by adults and children alike like a dirty rag to be pushed around. I know other teachers have been treated with disrespect because their words and actions are telling. All of it may have even made you reconsider teaching and made you say things like this:

“I’m just a teacher.”

I have to stop you there. You’re not just a teacher. You are a teacher. You direct, guide, scold, and embolden the future. You encourage the gutless in the gutters. You set high standards your students cannot even envision. You rile kids up and take bullies down. You make speeches and promises and you deliver. You analyze novels and poems so deeply that these poems and novels—and even parts of life—become understood.

 You are a teacher. That is nothing to be ashamed of, and it is nothing to hide.

To develop self-respect as a teacher, teach louder.

Don’t let anyone treat you like a dirty rag. Dress like a modern-day queen or king. Every day, prepare yourself for school. Iron your button-up shirt so firmly that the iron lines show on the arms. Starch your pants and brush the kinks out of your hair. Shine your shoes and look down in them to see your precious teacher face.

You are a teacher.

Respect yourself, and the rest will follow.

 

7 Tips for Beating End-Of-Year Teacher Burnout

It’s that time of the year when a dry erase marker that won’t work or first block without your morning coffee is enough to flip your normally jovial, light-hearted self into a snarling, spitting cat.

Welcome to the end of the school year, where the survivors are few and the wounded many. You have made it through the morass of the school year—avoided the grenades, crouched low, staked out your territory—and made it to the other side of the trenches. This is no man’s land, but you—and a few other teachers who remain relatively sane—have nearly made it.

Now what?

Any armchair psychologist need only survey your wrinkled teacher garb and your matted, knotted hair to identify your condition: end-of-year teacher burnout. But it takes a teacher who has been there and done that, one who has gained a degree in armchair psychology from The School of Life to advise a burnt-out teacher what to do about it.

While I may not hold a master’s or PhD, I do hold that precious degree from The School of Life, and here is what I know about end-of-year teacher burnout. 

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