Teach Houston

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 10 2013


I knew this time would come, and now that it’s here, I just feel a little resigned to the long grind that is burnout.

I’ve been talking about this a lot lately. Emotional labor. Constant stress/anxiety. High stakes all the time. No excuses. Ed reform is notorious for producing “burnout factories” and I feel like my situation is no exception.

I’m trying to pinpoint the exact causes. Here are a few I can come up with:

1. Constant stress and anxiety about surprise evaluations.
2. So. much. feedback. I feel like I am always being watched.
3. The consistent messaging I get that I am never good enough. I understand why this is the case, but still. It’s hard sometimes.
4. Lack of a personal life outside of teaching.
5. Routine & monotony.
6. Little emergencies/”fires” that pop up and encroach upon the semblance of a life I am trying to build for myself.

I’m going home in about a week and a half. For that I am grateful. As I told my instructional coach today – my current lifestyle is not sustainable. I will burn out by spring if I keep this up.

I’m trying so hard to fix things. I really am. I’m trying to care less – not about my kids, but about the way I’m judged by other adults – and I’m trying to reprioritize. I’m trying to have more of a life. Every day I promise myself I will try and make things better. Some days are successful. Others…less so.

Today was a less-so one. Maybe that’s why I’m struggling so much. I had a series of meetings and presentations leading up to me leaving home at 6:30 AM and coming home at 9:00 PM. Part of that is my fault, for committing myself to things I shouldn’t. Lesson learned, I suppose, but painfully so.


Sometimes I feel like I live in a sick world where everyone I talk to/interact with is on the crazy train too; we all work psycho hours and have tiny personal lives and live-breathe-sleep education. It makes it hard to tell when I need to check myself.

I want to make a change. But I do not yet know what that can be.

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