Norma Fruzynski, Diya Singh (Sophomores)
We all feel a tremendous amount of stress as school starts to come to an end. With finals, grades closing, and summer plans awaiting, nobody wants to be in the building anymore. It’s clear to see the distance between school and students, but how are teacher’s feeling? The Eagle Times sat down with two teachers to talk about Teacheritis and its symptoms as the school year is coming to a close. We asked them about general burnout amongst teachers, how quarantine has worsened burnout, the school district’s responsibilities when referring to this decline in teaching motivation, and how they get past their lack of drive.
When talking to Ms. Doe (not her real name), she expressed that while in every school year there is a general feeling of burnout, coming back from online learning has been more of an adjustment for teachers and students. Personally, she felt more burnout before spring break, so this end to the school year is somewhat sad for her because her teaching and personal relationships have been going very well. When asked what variables have affected this year’s difficulties with learning other than covid, Ms. Doe said that adjusting to this new role of technology in education without much of a guide in the beginning of this big change can make it harder for students to juggle all of these different platforms. She also said that, “As school budgets continue to be pushed back, oftentimes the district’s answer may be that they can add more things to the teacher’s plate.” She says that we should lobby legislators and state representatives to not decrease educational funding. Rather, increase that funding, because our students are in need of more resources and opportunities. Teachers need to keep more of their responsibilities soley teaching focused.
Ms. Doe says that she remembers her “Why?” moment when going through a rough spell with teacher burnout, remembering why she’s here and that it’s a part of her purpose. She knows that she can impact students in a positive or negative way everyday. She does her best to focus on the positives even when going through rough days and remembers to give herself and students grace. She knows that this job isn’t her life, and she can still spend time with friends and family to take her mind off of teacher burnout.
When talking to Mr. Doe (not his real name), he expressed that he had also been feeling burnt out. “More so the last 4-6 weeks…not like giving up, but you can feel it more this year.” Reasonably so, disruptive behavior from students, and coming back to the building after quarantine has been exhausting. When asked if the pandemic had generally led to more burn out, Mr. Doe replied, “Absolutely… I still feel like I’m all in because we kind of knew that this is what it would feel like for both students and teachers, and trusting that this year is… kind of an anomaly.” Mr. Doe explained that he thinks students haven’t had time to form relationships or ways to deal with problems and stress. “Some students went two years without developing coping skills and easily give up…. They pick friends over academics more than they would have previously.” To cope with burnout, Mr. Doe said, “I have kids at home, and we laugh and we goof around, and I remember that I have other priorities outside of here.”
The two different stories offer the same problem: Teachers are struggling. It is great to see that our teachers can seek comfort in friends and family to push through teacheritis. The Eagle Times wants to thank all of our teachers who put so much hard work and effort into their job. Thank you for your constant encouragement, and thank you for waking up and coming to school everyday.