Yup that is how many days I have left with my students this year, and before you get on a high horse or soap box and tell me that I shouldn’t be counting down, I am not. I am looking forward. I am looking forward to time to learn without the rush, to plan without the potential of field trips getting in the way. I am looking forward to the new things I will get to do with my students next year, I am looking forward to the time for reflection that summer brings.
As teachers work through the year that term “burnout” pops up almost as much as the most annoying word in, I think, the education world (after AR of course) morale. This idea that teachers are so tired of their students that they just can’t keep going. I think it is real for a small number of teachers and I think it is a substitute for “tired” for many.
Last year there was a moment where I was on the fence. If things went one way I was ready to be done teaching, I wasn’t burnt out and I wasn’t tired of my students. I was tired of everything else. Things went another way and I have had the greatest year, a year of change, a year of growth and a year of learning.
I am not burnt out but I sure am tired. We are supposed to be tired, we are working hard. If I leave the gym and I am tired I don’t say I am burnt out. I reflect and say “Holy crap I kicked butt today but man I am tired”. Teachers talk about Growth Mindset all the time but still get pulled into this burnt out narrative.
I have 17 days to go and then after a couple months of learning, discovering and yes relaxing I get to try new things, with some new students and some old. I get to explore new ways of learning and that is exciting. Also, it is ok. It is ok to be tired, it is ok to want a break and it is ok to look forward to it. It doesn’t take away from the joy I have had this year and plan to have for the next 17 days. My kids are ready for the break. So am I.