Is burnout in teaching inevitable?

When I started teaching, I was next door to two veteran teachers who met every day at lunch to share their cynical views of everything from students to admin to the future of education. Total victims of teacher burnout! It was difficult for me to listen to their complaining because I was so excited to have my own classroom, my own students… They always invited me and i ate with them for a while but it just didn’t feel right.

One day another teacher gave me the best advice of my career. “Avoid those two. They will ruin your good feelings about teaching.” I’m sure it is true in any field that a negative attitude can rub off on those around us but where is it more important than teaching to avoid that burnout attitude like crazy???

As the years have passed, I have strived to constantly maintain strong relationships with my students, to be on the lookout for the best way to teach them to love learning Spanish, and to keep a positive attitude. When people make me feel down (like I did those early days in the lunchroom) with their negativity about what I am passionate for, I run the other way!

On Monday I’ll say hello to my 20th class of Freshmen. My 20th year of excitement about new markers, new notebooks, and new faces in my room! No burnout for me!! I’m more excited about it each year because I have always learned something new over the summer that I can’t wait to try or because I have a great new way to approach something that failed the year before!

So here’s to the class of 2017! Welcome to high school! I hope you leave my room every day excited about learning Spanish and knowing that you’re important to me! Only 15 more first days of school for me! I’m not counting them down excited for the last one, I’m counting how lucky I am to have 15 more to look forward to! Forget the burnout, I’m going to make the most of every one!

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