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Burned Out-”That’s it!! I QUIT the Literacy Committee!”

by Janet Lee Stinson

It was a cold January morning when I quit the literacy committee. It makes my heart pound to think of the way it felt. I had taken on too much. I was on 16 committees and I was facing dreaded burnout. I had forgotten that special word “no” and replaced it with “of course I can do it!”

What a wreck I was!!

Are you taking on too much? Are you exhausted at 7 PM every night? When was the last time you got to see Dancing with The Stars to the end? Do you run from meeting to meeting barely finishing your lunch? Do you lug mountains of marking home only to return with the same untouched pile the next Monday? Well, I think you might be on the road to burnout.

The JL challenge:

* make a list of all your committees.

* Use different coloured highlighters to label each committee or responsibility.

Love it

Guilted in to it

Would Like to Reduce It

* Next, decide on actions to make life more manageable.

* Finally, imagine the advantages of your new life.

What might you be able to do if you did not have to run the lunch peer tutoring sessions and the grade 9 orientation sandwich making assembly?

Believe me, reassessing your responsibilities and backing off a bit on the unnecessary ones will save you lots of heart-ache. BTW at the time, quitting the literacy committee was the best thing I did for my self. Shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone!

Have you ever felt burned out? What did you do to fan your spark again?

Janet Lee has been an English teacher/Department Chair, Nipissing University Reading Part 3 Instructor, Student Success Literacy Consultant, and Nelson Literacy 7-10 instructional writer and media specialist. Janet Lee recently presented literacy resources at The Great Moon Gathering in Fort Albany, Ontario. She enjoys maintaining her blog This Side of the Mirror-A Journey Through Reflection to communicate with teachers and address current issues in education.

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  • http://bigideasineducation.wordpress.com Deborah

    Hi Janet,

    Phew! Your post resonates with me right now in my own life and in my own unique ways! I think I am inspired to take the JL challenge tonight!


    • Janet Lee

      Hi Deborah!

      Thanks so much for attempting the challenge!! As teachers we are always saying yes to extra responsibilities. I know it might not be very popular but we have to protect our energy and reserve ourselves for the important things. Life is so short. Pick and choose what inspires you and find the courage to say no to all the other stuff.

      Please let me know how it goes.