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d0rkablex2 d0rkablex2 is offline
 
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Demoralization or Burnout?
Old 07-25-2020, 06:22 PM
 
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Hello wonderful teachers of Proteacher!! I have been reading/following/posting on these boards since my first year of teaching in 2010.

I present this article with no bias/opinion. It was assigned to me by one of my graduate courses and I'm supposed to "have a dialogue" with other teachers about it. Go! Leave your thoughts in the comments please. I have tried endlessly to get teachers in my "real life" to talk to me about the article for my assignment, but everyone is so stressed with the state of our current district's plan, that it keeps getting pushed aside and I really need to turn this assignment in.

http://neatoday.org/2018/01/18/teach...sillusionment/

Thank you so much!!!


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Old 07-25-2020, 07:54 PM
 
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I think it is both. The mental strain caused by the demoralization leads to mental burnout. There have been a few mornings that I have woken up and the first thought is “I just can’t”. 99 percent of the time it is a mental exhaustion that is just completely overwhelming. We get a $100 Bonus for up to 5 days if we don’t use a sub. My litmus test is would I hand a person a $100 bill to not go into work today. If my answer is an emphatic yes, I make the call.

Is it burnout or demoralization? Knowing you are not getting support if a child throws a chair at you is demoralization, not sleeping at night because you are worried about why the kid would throw a chair and how horrible things must be for that child is a factor in burnout. They are intertwined sometimes.
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:55 PM
 
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I'm not sure if its not both, demoralizing/burnout.

I find it demoralizing when students who are disruptive to the point of being a possible danger to others are not removed from the classroom because you are not giving him/her enough work to do. Well, yes they have enough work to do, these kids were a problem for every teacher since prek and it is known that s/he does this to get attention. How about when your experience is overlooked because you are not the P's favorite and that person is part of the Mean Girls group. Or parents undermind you with telling your child how fat you are. Prents go over your head without speaking to you first. Gossip with teachers, parents and Ps. How about buying pizza for a classroom in a poverty area because you are celebrating the end of PSSAs and a kid tellls you that the pizza/wings are not good enough even though you bought the food without asking for any money from the students. You bascally provided lunch with drinks & dessert for your class. The money teachers spend in the classroom to provide basics, like toilet paper, sanitizer/soap. Getting the grade you in 4-trips related to social studies that you study for free including buses to/from, trip, workbook and activity and your P ignores this and never gives you thank you or whatever for this large, generous FREE activity for your title I school.

OMG- I'm just ranting, I am sorry. I am leaving this up so if you can use any of my complaints please feel free to. I felt demoralized by only 1 P in my career, I never felt burnt-out.

Good Luck with your paper.
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Old 07-26-2020, 03:13 AM
 
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I think a lot of what I see as burnout or what is considered burn out comes from the numerous other demands that traditionally do not have to do with teaching - providing clothing, food and supplies for kids as well as counseling and family support.

IME these demands are present in low and high SES schools, they just may look different.

Combine that with disorganized directives and subjective praise and evaluations and you have to be pretty confident and economically stable to weather teaching without some form of stress.

Editing to add: I saw and experienced true burn out in my previous career. To me burn out often involves mental and physical breaking points and /or crisis. I have not been teaching that long, but teachers are so "on" and public that they or someone else usually intervene before a crisis. So I think the term demoralized is very apt for teaching.

Last edited by readandweep; 07-26-2020 at 04:25 AM..
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Old 07-26-2020, 04:13 AM
 
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For myself, I am going to go with demoralization was a huge part of why I left teaching. I taught in a private school and had an excellent, supportive P. I was given a great deal of freedom to be creative.

This school was started as a mission. It was very family oriented, but decided to expand and eventually move to the other end of town.

We experienced a change in parents. No longer were we primarily dealing with parents who were grateful and part of the mission. Now, we had parents I called “educational consumers.”

We had customers, and that changed everything.

As a result, teachers were placed in impossible situations. I loved teaching, but meeting parental demands was exhausting. Administration accepted students way below grade level, but did not give teachers any support in educating them. When I voiced concern over a sixth grade student who couldn’t do simple addition, I was told “but she’s going to be loved in your room. That’s so much more important than addition.”

That was spiritual shaming, and that admin was very skilled in spiritual shaming.

My last year of teaching I had 30 6th graders (in two groups of 15). One third of them had come from public school and had IEPs. We didn’t service IEPs and parents knew that. Yet, I was expected to differentiate for everyone without any support. I constantly felt 1) the stress to provide for these students out of my own pocket and 2) a constant sense of failure because no matter how hard I tried, I, by myself, couldn’t find a way to teach 3 grade level simultaneously.

Another private school I taught in for a brief period actually expected me to teach 9th grade biology and 10th grade physics at the same time. Same room. Same period.

I guess in short, I find being set up for failure demoralizing.


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Old 07-26-2020, 05:55 AM
 
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Ultimately, I think that it's demoralization.

When I think about why I went into teaching, it was never supposed to make me feel like a martyr. I think we see schools (k-12) as being the savior of all children because we feed them, nurse them, clothe them when their parents cannot. The role of a teacher has become so much more than just teaching, and when there is little public support (from admin, the public, the president, etc) it becomes harder and harder to keep being okay with all I'm giving of myself. A lot of teachers are TEACHERS. That's their identity. When your identity becomes something that isn't ever supported, that's demoralizing.

When you hit a point where you're just completely demoralized, I think that's burn out. When you can't continue as is.

I want to say just getting more pay would make it better. Or just hearing how much we are appreciated for all that we're doing or giving would make it better. But to be honest, I feel like it's got to be a big overhaul.

And for what it's worth...nothing like a pandemic to realize that if you quit or got sick and died....they'll just replace you. THAT is demoralization.
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For me
Old 07-26-2020, 07:51 AM
 
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I think that Burnout is an umbrella term and demoralization is just one of the categories underneath.

Demoralization is one of the things that can lead to burnout. But, on the other hand, LOTS of things can lead to demoralization.
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