Lesson 5: Experiencing Burnout

Teaching is one of the most important jobs in the world. In fact, the future of civilization depends upon a dedicated, educated, caring cadre of teachers who are willing to share their knowledge and their hearts with their students. Not only is it an endeavor of critical importance, to do it right is one of the most difficult jobs known to humankind. To raise, guide, and teach other people’s children for eight  hours a day is more than a job; it’s a calling. And, as is the case with any calling, the on-going expenditure of time, intellectual creativity, and emotional energy can lead to burnout.

No one is exempt. From the novice, first-year teacher to the experienced, long-term educator, everyone who works with kids and young adults can become stressed by the responsibility, the lack of appreciation, and the innate feeling that “There’s too much work and not enough of me.” Teachers new to the profession are especially vulnerable. While numerous studies show that teachers perform best after being in the classroom for at least five years, 46% of new teachers quit before their fifth year.

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