Ever seen a teacher that is Burnt Out? I remember them from my own school daze.
In High School, they apathetically walked back from the teachers lounge with their cup of coffee, and flop down into their squeaky swivel chair with a sigh…. look out across the class, and just hope they can make it through the next hour with out mutiny. In Elementary School I have seen the burnt out teacher, happen as early as the first year. Ever seen a Kindergarten Teacher look like a scared cat? Those fast moving eyes, ever growing look of panic, praying that they don’t over run her…. Realizing that nothing they ever taught her in College prepared her for THIS!!??!! …. yeah, not pretty.
Please, don’t get me wrong…. it doesn’t happen everywhere, or to every teacher. I think that teachers that avoid burnout, within the public or private school systems, have found out the key. They have found the joy of their job. They look for things to be joyous about. That morose high school boy, that just bared his soul in an English paper…. they are touched by the tenderness that was revealed. They rejoice over those “click” moments that happen when a student starts to read. They look for smiles, in the classroom and hallways, they look for ways to encourage, motivate and inspire. Not just collect a check.
This translates over to we homeschool mom/teachers/doctors/cooks/housekeepers too.
Practically speaking, I will say that changing up things that are a struggle, or moving around the times of the day that we do certain subjects, helps to keep us all from becoming bored. But, more and more, I find the key to not getting burned out is me, or rather my attitude. If I project apathy, it gets mirrored back. If I am excited about something, so are they.
I need to find JOY in my job as teacher. Without it, I am like the teacher sighing in the squeaky swivel chair. Just wishing and praying for the day to be over. My kids deserve better than that.
Let me give you a homeschool paraphrase of Philippians 4:8-13
“Moms, look for these things in your day… whatever is true, noble, just, pure. Do you look for the lovely things in your children? Do you want to have good things to say about their behavior? Then look for the good! Praise them, let them know when they have behaved virtuously. Remember these wonderful things…………..Go about your many duties in a day with contentment. Whether it is laundry, or band-aids, or Phonics, be content with the jobs God has given you to do. Remember, that you can do all these things, through Christ who strengthens you.”
I try to evaluate things through this lens. Yes, even curriculum. Is it good, is it praiseworthy, is it virtuous…. does it cause me to honor God with my thoughts about it, or am I muttering, and groaning, and wishing I didn’t have to use it. Does it fit into the day well, or stress us out to get it done? We do the same thing with our Extra Curricular activities….. Sometimes those are a contributor to burning out more than anything. Always rushing place to place, can be stressful!!!
Cruise on over and see how others combat the issue of “Burn out”