Burning out is inevitable. Giving up isn’t.

Recently, I’ve been learning a lesson in another part of my life that applies rather well here. Put simply, we are all human. As teachers, we are pretty goal oriented people. We have a vision of how we want things to go in our classroom. Having a goal is great. Part of successfully achieving a goal is knowing that you are going to fail along the way. Crash and burn–how ever you want to put it. We could pretend like getting burnt out and messing up isn’t going to ever happen, but that’s unrealistic. Put in the words of Jim Bailey, we’re all going to catch the reading GERM. We will hit a point of monotony where we become burnt out on what we’re doing. What’s important is how we react. Do we let our reading GERM become a chronic illness, or do we kick it to the curb like the pesky head cold it is?

Bailey’s article really stuck with me, because I found it to be so true. I saw it as a reminder. A reminder that things aren’t always smooth sailing in the world of education. It’s what you make of it that determines your outcome. He found a way to push through his frustrations and create positive change for his school. His persistence and refusal to let things be as they were was inspiring to me. Bailey is also another testimony of a reoccurring theme of our class: reading choice=reading success!

This week I learned teachers aren’t the only ones that can get burnt out or frustrated. Students can too. As teachers, how do we help a student that has zero interest in reading? Pernille Ripp’s article is filled with extremely practical and effective ways to inspire students to read. If you have not read it, I highly recommend you do so now! Her tips are super simple and easy to implement into the classroom.

Bottom line, when lack of motivation strikes (whether that be from the student or teacher), we need to arm ourselves with plenty of persistence. Be willing to try something. And if it doesn’t work, be willing to try something else. We have so many resources at our disposal that the right answer to spark someone’s motivation is out there–it’s just a matter of finding it. The moment we stay stagnant is the moment we risk failing. If we do not quit, we cannot fail.

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4 thoughts on “Burning out is inevitable. Giving up isn’t.

  1. So well said! I can’t begin to count the number of times I have felt incredibly burnt out on numerous different things! Now that I think about it, when someone becomes burnt out on something, there are really only two options at that point. You either pick yourself up and power through or become completely submerged at the rock bottom of being burnt out. One question I have for you is: do you think teachers have something to do with students becoming burnt out? And how can we prevent ourselves from burning out our students?

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  2. I would say that teachers can play a factor in a student becoming burnt out. I’m a firm believer that a teacher sets the tone for the students in the class. If I come in full of energy and show that I genuinely care, the students are more likely to respond positively. If I come in tired or unenthused about something, students generally tend to feel less excited. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but I’ve seen this general trend whenever working with students.

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  3. I hear about burning out a lot, especially for teachers. I often feel burnt out with school, but I am still focused on my main goal of graduating. I think that teachers often need to find new ways to teach lessons to keep from burning themselves out on the same material. You can’t continue to do the same things over and over or you will get bored.

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