By Marie McHaffie
You walk into your classroom and dread walking over to your desk because your “organized pile system” is breaking down. Once you get there, you are overwhelmed by emails and items that are waiting for you to do in your inbox. You open your desk drawer and smile because you have some snacks in there to get you through your working lunch, because you won’t have but a minute to eat today. Oh and by the way it’s testing week so forget sitting down ever!
Knowing the stresses involved with teaching, I wasn’t shocked to see some articles come out last week about Arkansas Teacher Retention Rates. The reports stated after three years, one in three Arkansas teachers leave the profession. It cited stress, workload, salary, and retirement benefits as the top reasons for teacher burnout. Veteran teachers can usually spot the ones who won’t last. They are the ones that look like Mary Poppins the first day of school and by the last month of school all the sparkle has gone out of them and the lights are out and nobody is home. We have all went to school with our shirts on inside out or two different shoes on right? As a mentor teacher, this statistic upsets me because teaching is a noble profession that exists without proper care or treatment. As professionals, we need to help other teachers make it past those first 3 years. Last week, I sent a teacher call to arms, and teacher colleagues from around the area gave their two cents. I compiled a list of ways to avoid teacher burnout. Oh and by the way wine doesn’t count, but it helps.
Marie McHaffie is an English and Journalism teacher for Mulberry Pleasant View Schools. She has over 11 years of education experience. She has taught in California, Colorado, and Arkansas. Currently, she is part of the Arkansas Teacher Practice Network through the Arkansas Public School Resource Center. You can follow her on Twitter @redwoodgal73.
Originally published on April 20, 2016 in the Greenwood Democrat.
Author -- Teacher Practice Network
We are a cadre of teachers from Arkansas and Oklahoma brought together through APSRC and a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to empower teachers to find their own voice both in and out of the classroom.