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  • Writer's picturejordenpearce

My not-so-short 'why'

We are beginning to hear more about ‘teacher burnout’ leading to teachers leaving the profession in the news headlines. It is also becoming very prominent through social media and employment websites that staff turn-over is increasing and teaching positions are becoming more and more difficult to fill. This is traumatising for not only parents and students who have to watch their passionate and dedicated role models walk out the school gate, but also for the teachers themselves, whose inspiring energy and passion has suddenly been replaced with feelings of exhaustion and anxiety.  

Throughout my 7 year career I have often questioned my career choice due to feeling continuously burnt out and overwhelmed by the expectations held for teachers. My family still laugh at some of the ‘get rich quick’ schemes I have proposed to them and the many other jobs I have considered over the years. However, I have stayed in the job for 7 years because it is one of the most rewarding careers out there and I am very passionate about what I do.

Each year I have family and friends comment on how often I am working. I would often miss out on social events and spending quality time with my family as a result of work. Whether it was marking to be done, rearranging my classroom, hanging artwork, entering data, contacting parents, I knew it needed to be done and if it wasn’t, there would only be more to deal with later. My workload often needed to be drawn out across all 7 days of the week and the hours I was working increased. This could be a combination of the expectations I place on myself as well as the workload placed on teachers. Nonetheless, I truly believe there is a common theme among all teachers – we don’t stop and can’t stop until the work is done… we make the impossible happen.  Of course, putting so much pressure on ourselves to get this done comes with consequences, and we tend to sacrifice our own needs first. I will unpack this a little more in a future post.

I often laugh to myself and think, if I am struggling to manage this workload as an individual with no children at home, how on Earth do parents do it? How do they tackle the workload placed on them at school, look after themselves AND their children. The short answer is, they don’t. I have watched my colleagues do a great job as a teacher and a parent, but more often than not, their own health and wellbeing is disregarded.

After teaching various year levels, within different settings, trying to make moves to reduce the workload I take home with me, it has come to my attention that the issue lies beyond any school or year level. Whilst I may not have the power to change the workload itself, I do have the power to help teachers take positive steps to achieve the various dimensions of wellbeing. We know in ourselves, it is very difficult to pour into others’ buckets when we have nothing in our own. We may not be able to solve the problem, but we can manage it better.

I am extremely passionate about the journey I am about to facilitate and I can’t wait to expand my community and make a difference in the lives of teachers! If you, or anyone you know needs support in discovering tools that will help to reignite their passion and energy for this challenging yet rewarding career, please share my rising community!

Exciting things to come 😊

-          Much love, Jords xx

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