Monday, July 27, 2009

On Work Burnout

I'm having one of those grouchy weekends that spilled over into a Monday. I called off sick today because I am feeling so burned out from work. Perhaps it was from working all of those long days and non-stop Saturdays for two or three months. Perhaps it was from taking over the two new departments that I was given in the beginning of July. Perhaps it is because I am always going non-stop with all sorts of projects, even during my free time. Perhaps it is from my adrenaline pumping all last week for my presentation. Or maybe I am just crashing because I have had to dodge so many bullets at work for the past six months because of the fucked up budget crisis. Who knows, but today I am feeling burned out.

I feel lethargic. My body hurts. I feel bitchy. I don't feel like thinking at all. I have been having migraines. My skin feels like it looks like shit. I feel exhausted. I feel mentally drained. In fact, the other day my boyfriend asked if I was drunk because I was blabbering and not making sense. I feel as if I don't even want to go back to work.

Today I am feeling much better than I did on Friday and Saturday. I know it will be a matter of time until I recover. All I need is sleep, healthy food, and exercise.

Beyond me even feeling burned out, I am just sick of the public school system. The system as a whole breeds mediocrity and incompetence. I am tired of everyone dropping the ball on something and then shooting darts in my way so that they have someone to blame when they fall straight on their faces. I am irritated that everyone's lack of planning has to turn into my emergency. I am tired that school principals and other administrators do not know how to fucking handle their money and I have got to run around and find money to offset when they went into the red.

I would have to say that more than half of the teachers that I work with do not make their job a priority. They don't attend any training, even when they are paid. All they want to do is blame the kids and their parents, and not hold themselves accountable for what they might be doing that is NOT working, or what they are NOT doing. I bust my ass on a daily basis to assist the teachers and put structures into place that will help them with their teaching, planning and assessment, and many of the teachers don't appreciate it.

I mean, would they go to a surgeon and have brain surgery with a doctor who has not attended any training in the past ten years? Would they be okay with their own children's teachers never attending any training??

At least one third of the teaching population that I work with is highly dedicated and they want to implement all that they are learning. But then they go back to their classrooms and their incompetent principal won't let them do what needs to be done.

I'm so tired of people acting as if these inner-city kids are a bunch of idiots and they don't deserve a quality education. I'm so sick of hearing all of the negative comments about the kids, the community and the families. I was one of those damn kids and yet I have been successful in spite of all that the public ed system put me through.

I am exhausted with lack of imagination, lack of creativity, and adherence to the status quo. I have always thought outside the box, and I am tired of being treated as if "we can't do it that way". And I get really tired when what I have been saying for years is finally implemented-why the fuck does it take like five years for people to get the picture?

I just want to be surrounded by amazing people, amazing, creative people who have a passion for what they're doing. Instead I am surrounded by many people who wake up to put in their six hours (yes, I said six hours-if teachers do not stay after school or go to trainings, they work six and a half hours) in what is only a j-o-b to them.

I know that I could walk away any day and make the same amount of money consulting and working on other projects, but I stick around in my attempt to make a difference in this world-to be that one person in the school system who I never had. But I'm also not going to mentally and emotionally kill myself when no one else apparently takes our job so seriously. Only time will tell if I want to keep killing myself like this.


  1. Hey there. I'm not feeling burnt out, I'm on summer vacation.(I'm a 4th gr bilingual teacher.) But I spend summer reading, writing tons, going to several workshops, thinking about next year, my new kids, things I'll do differently, etc.

    BUT, the frustration you're having over the system and the losers that work it... well I'm SO with you on that. I'm part of a team of eight 4th gr teachers, none of whom care to collaborate on anything. In fact, three in the group don't do jack and don't care for the kids. They regard the kids in the poorest way. The reason I push and work my ass off is because I want these kids to make it; son MI GENTE! Maybe that's why it means more to me.

    And its like that across the board. Not all admin/teachers/staff are as invested in our kids, because, simply - its not their people. Is that terribly racist or judgemental? Because I freakin' believe it.

  2. I think that's why it means more to me, also. The sad thing is that it is also Latina/o teachers, administrators and staff who do the same! I see just as many African American and Latina/o teachers doing the same thing to our kids. I want to slap them and say, "Wake up!" I think that some people "make it" and they actually start thinking that they are better than the people in the community where they work.

    It becomes so emotionally draining to me to see people not make children a priority. I think that we have one of the most important jobs ever and I wish that more people would take it more seriously.