I have begin the new school year almost 2 weeks ago and all ready am feeling burned out. It's not the students that cause my burn out though on an average day I change 2 pull ups walk with an autistic student three miles so that he uses up enough energy so that he doesn't become violent,walk another student who is profoundly disabled to try to connect with her 100 yards 3x a day,keep another student from running out of the classroom and school ten times,helped two students learn to feed themselves, read to 9 students 3 of whom can communicate helped replace another students cursing with more acceptable words and that is what I can think of at the moment.
This does not burn me out. What does burn me out is administrators that can only see numbers instead of students, that see teachers as indentured servants. Then add the countless hours of paperwork (2 hours of paperwork for every hour of teaching) to the mix and you have burnout. Throw in the have to be done immediately items that can only be understood by administrators that are not logical for the students we teach and you have teachers saying there must be a better career out there.
At the start of the school year we were forced to take three days furlough with thirteen more to look forward to before next May to balance the state budget and encouraged to sing a song thanking the administration for giving us a job and I think it is only because I love my students that I have stayed this long. Oh one other thing I can't forget is that I spend between $5,00 and $8,000 of my own money to keep my class going.After 15 years of teaching with master's degree I totally understand burnout!
GK, I'm just surprised that school has started already! Good luck to you. You've chosen a very noble profession and I am totally impressed.
GK, I have two children getting set to enter the teaching field (one graduated -- taking time off to raise twins, one graduating in Decembr). They're not going into Special Ed (although my older one may have a daughter involved in it due to special circumstances), but still - advice would be appreciated.
You have my sympathy, friend. I am not a special ed teacher, but I am a teacher and can understand your admin troubles. Find a good way to deal with the stress in your life and know that you're doing a good job to help the kids you can reach. In a way, you are a servant to them, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Be the smile they need to see.
Sometimes within the last few years the ABC program, Nightline, did a series on teachers in inner city schools. They weren't Special Needs students, but they had their own version of "special needs". The program followed one young teacher who was about ready to pack it in during the first year. From what I hear, many younger teachers burn out in - like - the first five years. You've done well to fend off burn-out for this long.
From what I've seen (as a parent with over 40-child-years of having a child in school), it's the bureaucrat thinking that stamps out the enthusiasm in teachers and students, alike.
I'm sorry that you are already feeling burned out. And yes I know all about the numbers and that is all that the administartors care about. *HUGS* I do hope that things get better though sadly in the teaching biz it probably won't. That is one of the reasons why I stayed teaching preschool.
And yep I know what it's like to spend my own money to keep the classroom going. though it was nice at least two places where I worked I was reimburst. The last place nope...so when I left I took my stuff with me lol
I've not worked as a teacher in a classroom, but when I did work as a live-in group home houseparent (short term intervention home for kids aged 7 to 17) in the 1970's, the average burnout rate in THAT profession was known to be around 9 months on average, start to finish...and yes, because of having to deal with "professionals", not the youngsters in the home.
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