The Big Teacher-Leader Burnout Can Lead to a Blog-Out, Too - The Jose Vilson

The Big Teacher-Leader Burnout Can Lead to a Blog-Out, Too

by Jose Vilson on December 22, 2009

in Jose

Fish's Reflection

Fish's Reflection

Last November, Bill Ferriter and I had a discussion about teacher burnout and how those of us who consider ourselves at the forefront of teacher leadership in our respective situations. The conversations kept streaming my way, and while the vets handled this situation much better, the stakes for other teachers only heightened as the year passed by. Being the reflective person I am, I said, “Well, isn’t the solution right in these spaces?” After all, reflection tends to help sow the bits of practice together into one bundle we can better handle.

Then, I noticed the lack of actual writing going on.

Then, it became a lack of socializing as a whole.

Then, I sat there, still typing away, skipping days here and there, when I said: “Can this Christmas break come ANY SOONER?!”

It seems to me that, even those of us who use these spaces to reflect and push the agenda for the teacher / educator voice, we’re still primarily in the school building, in the classroom, in the hallways, in the gyms, and in front of 20-30 children’s faces at a time, draining ourselves of our life energies in the process. How do we get enough time to blog, which is a considerably laborious process for those of us who care about the difference between there and their.

Where do we make the time to formally reflect? I agree that reflection is good, but reflecting formally, whether on paper or on this venue, and documenting that process proves more useful than random musings. What’s your weapon of choice?

Mr. Vilson, who has 1 more day to go before the blue moon greets me in a cold embrace …

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Louis Pagan December 25, 2009 at 2:33 am

Hey, btw..what grade do you teach?

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Jonathan December 25, 2009 at 10:46 am

The more I do, the more I get asked to do, and the harder it is to keep up with all of it.

Is blogging the extra, the luxury, that we should ease off of first?

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Jose December 25, 2009 at 1:52 pm

I teach 8th grade, Louis.

Jonathan, I think you’ve answered your own question. Oftentimes, as much as I believe blogging will become a critical part of pushing the professional agenda of teachers, I also think it’s a bit of a luxury in the grand scheme of things, especially as it concerns time distribution.

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Jonathan December 25, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Maybe blogging goes first. But in your list of things, it’s not just blogging and everything else. Certainly my list has dozens of directions I get pulled in.

If I had to choose one… but I don’t. If I was forced to give up one or two… Maybe blogging… but I am not sure I have the answer yet. It’s too much like me to refuse to choose, keep working on all fronts, and realize everything’s become less effective.

Maybe blogging. But I am not sure.

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Tracy Rosen March 19, 2010 at 6:05 am

Is blogging what gives you hope? Why would you give that up first?

We (teachers in particular) tend to ‘give up’ the activities that feed us when we are overwhelmed, when it is those very activities that give us the strength to keep going, that help us to keep the passion kindled.

I do the same. My blog is very indicative of my energy levels. Lately, very low. When I have ‘free’ time, I tend to opt for nesting with a book or a movie. Freeing my mind from thought, entertaining it.

When was this written? A few months ago…but always relevant.

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Jose March 21, 2010 at 10:54 am

I wrote this back in December, when a few of us in my twitstream were discussing the eventual burnout and how it was affecting our writing in our blogs. Certainly, this is relevant til now, when we’re about to hit the “second wave” if you ask me.

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Gary Abud September 28, 2013 at 10:00 am

Could not agree more! Our teacher leadership PLN in Michigan tried to support teachers in reflection and blogging through a short weekly challenge. The 2014 Teacher Leadership Challenge. We find that part of the struggle to blog is getting focused to write in the first place and keeping it manageable. So, weekly. On Fridays, we post a reflective prompt and invite teachers to respond (in <500 words) in their blogs and share responses online. We have participants from MI and TX involved in this on blogs and Twitter with the challenge. We make it easy to share responses by email and showcase them on a blog and Google+ page for the challenge. You can read more about it and maybe even would like to unite your PLN to join: http://abud.me/tag/tlc2014/

Keep working hard!

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