|My friend and I at our First Holy Communion|
(I am the brunette on the right)
Why am I writing about my religious upbringing when talking about burnout? I want you to know a bit about where I am on the “religious person” scale before I suggest this book. Just as I believe most of the messages in The Bible are for everyone (e.g. be nice, don’t kill, lying is bad), I also believe that this book is helpful for teachers who don’t have any Christian beliefs.
Update: This book is no longer available on Amazon. I am keeping the post here because the concepts are still valuable. If I discover the book again, I'll update the link. The book is called, "Teachers' Devotions to Go" by Diane Stark. She wrote 32 chapters that follow a simple pattern. First there’s a bible excerpt. Then there’s a story about teaching; she ends the story by connecting it to her relationship to God, and with a sample prayer for the reader to use. Most of the prayers thank God, or ask for assistance. Finally the chapter ends with a, “Time Out.” These are like little homework assignments. They are easy tasks to complete to make your life a bit easier.
Now, for those of you who are wondering how on Earth this is related to teacher burn out let me share some of the easy tasks she shares in the “Time Outs”:
- Don’t talk about the negative. Enjoy the positive. Write down 10 things you like about your school, class, etc. and focus on those.
- This is great advice for every teacher regardless of religious beliefs!
- Instead of worrying pray about it
- OK, I get how this one may be harder for non-religious teachers. However, to me prayer is very similar to meditating. All she is really saying is don’t overthink things you can’t control! If you are worried about something take some deep breaths and decide if you can or cannot do anything. If you can, then do it! If not, move on.
- Take a mini-vacation. Even just an hour at a new café.
- Here’s another one I think where I think anyone could benefit. By taking a little time to “get away from it all,” we avoid overloading ourselves!
"40 Prayers for Teachers"
is a nice collection.
I am curious, how many people who read this blog consider themselves religious? I try to keep my religion out of my job (and thus this blog), but I do feel that being Catholic is a part of who I am.