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Old 07-23-2009, 08:55 AM
 
28,869 posts, read 32,506,317 times
Reputation: 10386

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burnout - definition of burnout by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
b. One who is worn out physically or emotionally, as from long-term stress.

Just because you are warn out doesn't mean you aren't performing well. I guess all the teacher posters in here saying they are warn out but doing a good job don't really mean they are worn out. I am not sure all responders actually are using the term burnout as defined. What your folklore thinks it means and what the standard definition is can be different.
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,743 posts, read 16,092,353 times
Reputation: 9227
beanandpumpkin wrote:
I do agree with you in that my education will never be finished either, until I die
How do you know that it will be finished when you die? Perhaps, that's when you get to take the most interesting courses of them all.
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:01 PM
 
28,869 posts, read 32,506,317 times
Reputation: 10386
Some additional food for thought on this topic. Unlike most professions, jobs etc teachers work in isolation from other adults during the day. Either in person or via phone they are not interacting with other adults especially at the secondary level. In addition to before/after you have lunch and planning time. Many schools try to schedule common lunch time for academic departments and planning time for folks fortunate to be in a team teaching situation they like. That is one of the benefits of team teaching when it works is the opportunity for collegiality in the work setting. Again as the years go by the sequence of time isolated from other adults and the age span difference with the students increases. Any differences in culture and interests between the teacher and the student can complicate it also. When you are 22 in a high school classroom your entertainment taste may be similar to your students but as time goes by.

teachingtechnology.suite101.com/.../using_twitter_to_break_down_classroom_isolation

The above is a non functioning link. I find the connection between the potential of Twitter and Teacher isolation to have considerable potential. That is unless the school system bans the devices from the classroom for teachers also.

Wiley InterScience :: Session Cookies (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118694805/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0 - broken link)
In recent years a research literature has developed which increasingly problematizes the project to construct professional community in schools. This case-based literature explores the messy complexities of teacher cooperation and collaboration. It points to the human, cultural, and political dimensions in schools that prevent changes in the organizational conditions of teachers' work from achieving their anticipated outcomes. This article deepens this vein of research by examining the experiences of those who work in a school system where, because of its governance and curriculum organization, teachers must work in a professional environment which provides few opportunities for isolation or privacy

Would Social Isolation Theory Explain Teacher Participation in Surveys (http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/1/1/6/2/8/p116288_index.html - broken link)
According to social isolation theory of nonresponse, teachers experiencing "social isolation" feel a lack of social support or membership in the larger community in which the survey is embedded either directly or indirectly, such as the classroom and the school in which a teacher teaches, and about which the survey asks questions. We argue that teachers may refuse to comply with a request to participate in a survey because they feel disengaged from fellow teachers and their classrooms or schools.

The above is food for thought on the topic. I am sure many will disagree but education is about the intellectual pursuit to understand and solve problems. There is much that has already been done and said in school reform on the topic.
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,033 posts, read 7,974,434 times
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Disengagement and/or social isolation is definitely a problem, especially for teachers new to the profession or to a particular school. However, I have to stress that the difficulties that I have experienced as well as observed usually have very little to do with the teacher who is having difficulty.

Teachers don't "feel" socially isolated; they actually are socially isolated, due both to the lack of interaction with other adults as well as issues with the adults (i.e. other teachers and administrators.) Every teacher that I have spoken to has told me that their first year was hell. And a lot of it has to do with the attitudes of the students as well as the adults who make a point of "tesing" the new teacher; it really is akin to hazing ("how much do you love your school, how much are you willing to sacrifice to be a part of this team.")

I know that this exists in many work environments but it is all the more difficult with teaching because it is a profession that has very high expectations (in terms of education, behavior, etc.) but that pays a wage and offers a prestige/respect factor that in no way corresponds to the work that is put forth. I think that a lot of teachers would tolerate these poor working conditions if they were being paid a salary that reflected the amount of time, energy and sacrifice that they put into their jobs.

I would compare being a teacher to being a police officer--another profession that is also grossly underpaid and that is often completely disrepected on a daily basis--but I think that the comraderie among police officers makes up for the other difficulties that they face on a daily basis. This is something that I think is completely lacking in teaching; you can call it "social isolation" but I prefer to simply refer to it as a lack of comraderie.
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:31 PM
Ohs
 
236 posts, read 615,415 times
Reputation: 178
call it "social isolation" but I prefer to simply refer to it as a lack of comraderie.[/quote]


Hmm good point, teachers seem to be comparing themselves against each other all the time. Oh that kid is in so and so's class, that why they don't listen. Yeah, it's almost like some teachers want to see you fail so that you can't outshine them some how. It's like a big competition, I guess lots of work places are that way when everyone has the same job title and duties people have to have some way of making themselves feel special.
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:49 PM
 
1,914 posts, read 2,980,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Some additional food for thought on this topic. Unlike most professions, jobs etc teachers work in isolation from other adults during the day.
Just like stay at home moms/full time moms....without a paycheck/pension/heathcare or vacation!
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Old 07-24-2009, 06:27 AM
 
28,869 posts, read 32,506,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyG View Post
Just like stay at home moms/full time moms....without a paycheck/pension/heathcare or vacation!
Stay at home moms usually in many communities have play groups and built in social activities with other moms etc. At least the ones in my neighborhoods have. In addition they can walk out of their door for a stroll and talk to other neighbors who are home. In addition most aren't raising young children who aren't going to school for 30-35 years, at least the ones in my neighborhood didn't. If their spouse doesn't have health care for the family that is unfortunate. Yes pensions can make it well worth while as I have said many a time in this forum. Teachers are restricted to certain times of the day when they can seek collegiality and that is regulated by a bell. Stay at home moms are restricted when the baby is sleeping. My daughter inlaw sure manages to have a full day of activity and contact as a house mom with an infant. Hmmm but then she goes out and takes the baby with her as do the house parents in my neighborhood. Off to shop, off to visit friends etc etc etc. I have a house father a young guy and he has a good time during the day chatting with us retired folk and others in this neighborhood. I guess as with most things in life we see things through the prism of our own personal experiences.
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Old 07-24-2009, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,371 posts, read 28,787,750 times
Reputation: 14385
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Some additional food for thought on this topic. Unlike most professions, jobs etc teachers work in isolation from other adults during the day. Either in person or via phone they are not interacting with other adults especially at the secondary level. In addition to before/after you have lunch and planning time. Many schools try to schedule common lunch time for academic departments and planning time for folks fortunate to be in a team teaching situation they like. That is one of the benefits of team teaching when it works is the opportunity for collegiality in the work setting. Again as the years go by the sequence of time isolated from other adults and the age span difference with the students increases. Any differences in culture and interests between the teacher and the student can complicate it also. When you are 22 in a high school classroom your entertainment taste may be similar to your students but as time goes by.

teachingtechnology.suite101.com/.../using_twitter_to_break_down_classroom_isolation

The above is a non functioning link. I find the connection between the potential of Twitter and Teacher isolation to have considerable potential. That is unless the school system bans the devices from the classroom for teachers also.

Wiley InterScience :: Session Cookies (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118694805/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0 - broken link)
In recent years a research literature has developed which increasingly problematizes the project to construct professional community in schools. This case-based literature explores the messy complexities of teacher cooperation and collaboration. It points to the human, cultural, and political dimensions in schools that prevent changes in the organizational conditions of teachers' work from achieving their anticipated outcomes. This article deepens this vein of research by examining the experiences of those who work in a school system where, because of its governance and curriculum organization, teachers must work in a professional environment which provides few opportunities for isolation or privacy

Would Social Isolation Theory Explain Teacher Participation in Surveys (http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/1/1/6/2/8/p116288_index.html - broken link)
According to social isolation theory of nonresponse, teachers experiencing "social isolation" feel a lack of social support or membership in the larger community in which the survey is embedded either directly or indirectly, such as the classroom and the school in which a teacher teaches, and about which the survey asks questions. We argue that teachers may refuse to comply with a request to participate in a survey because they feel disengaged from fellow teachers and their classrooms or schools.

The above is food for thought on the topic. I am sure many will disagree but education is about the intellectual pursuit to understand and solve problems. There is much that has already been done and said in school reform on the topic.
I think isolation from other adults is a big issue. Teachers find their support from other adults but we're around kids all day. I'm around teens all day. Trust me, they give no support. In fact, we're kind of dissed by our students. There's a definite us and them, or should I say ME and them mentality. I'd love to do something like team teaching just to have another adult in the room.

I think this might be a big part of why teachers burn out. When we have problems, we don't have someone else to bounce possible solutions off of. We're on our own to figure them out. I know I often feel like I'm reinventing the wheel WRT issues I'm trying to solve. Back in my engineering days, I just stood up and talked to the engineer in the next cubicle. IF I get to talk to another teacher, it's either on my 20 minute lunch or after school for 10 minutes.

I wish they'd set it up so that the teachers in a department had the same prep to allow more collaboration.
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Old 07-24-2009, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Mississippi
315 posts, read 938,301 times
Reputation: 421
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Once again very few people in life have their day guided and directed by the ringing of a bell that tells them when to end and begin. !
Actually there is a rather large population - prison inmates.
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,743 posts, read 16,092,353 times
Reputation: 9227
Spending all day with a group of kids seems far less socially isolating than spending all day sitting in front of a computer screen like I do in my job as a database programmer.
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