The Cure for Teacher Burn Out.
Do you remember graduating from school and getting your first job in education? You were going to change the world, build relationships, and make a difference in the lives of students. Well, are you accomplishing those lofty goals, or are you burned out by meetings, "new" county initiatives, and discipline issues?
According to the Georgia Department of Education, 47% of new teachers leave the profession within the first 5 years.
Based on the data from the Georgia Department of Education, I am going to guess that you are burned out. According to their research, 47% of new teachers leave the profession within the first 5 years. I imagine that you would agree that is a problem.
How do we hire, develop, and retain teachers that we need? I believe we need to empower teachers in their classroom, school, and community. I know that sounds weird. We can't give them Thor's hammer and have them run around feeling empowered. Although...that would be awesome! Instead, I think we need to encourage teachers to share what they are doing in their classroom. I know you are thinking, "well, that won't work", but hear me out.
I spent 8 years at my previous school. I was a teacher of the year, respected (I think) by my peers, and built awesome relationships with students. Nevertheless, I was getting burned out. I didn't have the fire I previously had for education, and I was just going through the motions. Then, my brother-in-law encouraged me to start this website. He built a website around what he calls "Fatherhood, Fitness, and Finance." You can check it out here. He is pretty awesome!
I was tired of jumping through the required "hoops" of education, but it all changed with a website and Twitter account.
When I started the website, one of my early articles was about Nearpod. I was using it in the classroom, and even used it in PE. I also posted the article on Twitter, and the next thing I knew, I received an email and phone call from Nearpod. They wanted to share my content on their blog. I was blown away! From there, I helped test a new ed tech tool called wizer.me, and then reviewed new content coming from Storybird. Finally, several months ago I was accepted as a Nearpod Pionear. To top it all off, I was hired by an awesome county in north Georgia to be a content specialist, helping to develop online courses for the county.
I mention all of these milestones, because a little more than 2 years ago I was burned out. I was tired of jumping through the required "hoops" of education, but it all changed with a website and Twitter account.
So my first recommendation for teachers to prevent burn out is to build a brand. Lets be honest...we all get excited about us. You are doing or have done awesome things in the classroom. So...start a website and share all the awesome things you are doing. Next, get on Twitter. I know that social media seems like the last place to go to get motivation. It is normally filled with negativity, politics, and pictures of cats. However, following education and education technology folks is completely different. It fills your Twitter feed with awesome ideas, and fantastic teaching practices. Once you are on Twitter search for a education group (PLN) in your state or county. If you are in Georgia, #TECHtalkGA is a great chat to be a part of, or the #forsythpln. Finally, on Twitter if you aren't sure who to follow check out the great list below.
Shameless plug...me! @teachandcoachga
Education leader AJ Juliani @ajjuliani
Administrator Danny Steele @SteeleThoughts
Ed Tech Leader Angela Burgess @mmeBurgess
Ed Tech Leader Suzy Lolley @suzylolley
If you are new to building a website (Like I was). I recommend using WiX or Weebly. I have used both, but I prefer to use WiX. For my domain, I purchased it through GoDaddy, and it was really cheap. However, the more "desired" the web address is, the more costly it is. For example, teachandcoach was roughly $500. However, teachandcoachga was only like $20.
For Twitter, the good news is that it is free, and if you send me a message letting me know you read this post, I will also share your first article on Twitter.
As teachers, we are doing awesome things. However, no one else is going to share them, unless you tell the world. Get out there. Share you and your amazing ideas. You might just be surprised where it takes you!
As always, thank you for taking the time to read my post. I hope that you will send me a message about your new website. I would love to share it with others on Twitter. If you don't already subscribe to the blog, please do. You will get great new content sent directly to your inbox!
Have a great day!