Teacher Burn Out – My Story

Teacher Burn Out – My Story

Recently I’ve heard more and more teachers share stories of stress, anxiety, depression and just plain exhaustion. I know for me, I became burnt out during my first year in the classroom. MY FIRST YEAR! I switched from elementary teaching to middle school, hoping it would relieve some of the stress. While the extra planning time and fewer preps were nice, I still couldn’t shake the overwhelming weight that was sitting on my shoulders.

Some Causes of Teacher Burnout
I did a bunch of things to try to relieve the stress. I made a promise to myself to never bring work home. A great idea in theory, but when your planning time gets eaten up by parent phone calls, meetings, co-workers, the work will pile up and requires attention after school hours. I tried to not focus on content rather than test scores. But, with every unit there was a pre assessment and post assessment. There were benchmarks and of course, standardized testing. Every single assessment was analyzed. Class scores were reported and ranked. Every single student was looked at to see if they grew or dropped. If they dropped, it was (or I was made to feel like it was) my fault.

I don’t feel like I was a good mother when I was in the classroom. Or a good wife. I came home from work every single day stressed and overwhelmed. I remember crying when my husband made mashed potatoes for dinner instead of baked potatoes because he didn’t hear me ask for baked. I felt like I was “ignored” by my students all day long and coming home to a husband who innocently didn’t hear one thing was too much for me to handle. Students of course, misbehaved. When I came home and my own child would be naughty, it elevated my stress. I expected her to be “perfect” because I didn’t want to deal with more bad behavior.
I practically ran out of school on Fridays and spent all day Sunday anxious about the week ahead. The one day a week {Saturday} I had to enjoy life, just didn’t seem like enough. I tried everything I could to get myself on a different career path. I earned my Real Estate license, started a photography business, sold Mary Kay and Pampered Chef all at some point during my years in the classroom. I didn’t see myself retiring as a teacher, so I was constantly working towards something else.

Some Effects of Teacher Burnout

It broke my heart to know that my dream of being a teacher had shaped up into somewhat of a nightmare. My degree was, in my opinion, a waste. Luckily for me, I found a job I adore. I work MANY more hours now than I did when I was in the classroom, but these hours fulfill me. I feel like I’m making a difference and am doing something that really makes my heart happy.
There are so many teachers out there though, who are still in the classroom. They are tired, stressed and trying to find new ways to manage everything on their plate. My next post will include real stories from other teachers in which they share IF/WHY they are burned out and how they are pushing through.
**I 100% know that there are many, many teachers who LOVE their job. They have great administration, tons of curriculum and parent support, and overall great working environments. This post, and the one following it, are for those of you who might think you’re the only one who feels the way you do. I’m here to let you know that you’re not alone!**


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Hi, I'm Lindsay!

I create ready to go resources for middle school math teachers, so they can get back what matters most – their time!

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