Fighting Burnout

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Anyone else out there feeling worn down by the struggles we’re facing in education right now?  Silly question.  Of course you are.  We are all being asked to do more with less. 

burnoutWe are expected to donate our time to an increasing number of tasks outside of school hours.  Curriculum decisions have been taken out of our hands as we teach to the high-stakes tests.  Criticism is hurled at us from all directions because our schools are failing and it’s obviously our fault.  And in spite of the determination to leave no child behind, support teachers (including library media specialists like myself) are finding it necessary to justify our very existence in the school building.

Well, take a look at this article from Teacher Magazine.  The author, Elena Aguilar, lists nine positive ways to pause and make changes in your teaching lifestyle, ranging from the commonsensical “Get some helpers,” to the heartening “Celebrate the successes,” to the radical “Take a day off,” to the empowering “Reclaim fair working conditions.” 

Through writing this blog I’ve come to appreciate the importance of taking time to reflect on what I’m doing in my professional life and why.  After pondering Elena’s suggestions, I can see the benefit of including more posts here about what is working in my library, and what impact I’m having on the students I see each week.  I need to remember why I became a school librarian in the first place, and resolve to keep that at the forefront of my mind when I’m considering whether or not to take on additional roles and responsibilities at my school. 

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to heed suggestion number eight, “Make good health a priority,” by eating an apple and doing some yoga.


Image: ‘want to go home now (day 242)
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