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SC 192 The Specific Causes of Burnout in Educators 3

Podcast 192:  The Specific Causes of Burnout in Educators (Part 3)

 

Conditioning—how our educations set unrealistic expectations for our careers:

 

The expectations we experienced in graduate training have profound effects on the expectations of ourselves that we carry into our careers.  Consider the following list of expectations:

 

  • We are assigned reading lists that we cannot possibly finish.
  • We need to keep current in our fields by reading even more.
  • We are to be judged, professionally, on the quality and quantity of our research and our publications or productions.
  • We are often not trained to teach.
  • Teaching is just something we do to help pay for our graduate educations.

 

Compare this to the typical job of a professor who does not find himself or herself working in a primarily research-oriented job where course loads are at a minimum:

 

  • You are evaluated and promoted primarily on the basis of your teaching.
  • Part of your evaluation is based on service to the college or university (committee work and advising), which you did not do as a graduate student.
  • You are expected to publish, even though your time for research is greatly diminished from your days as a graduate student.

 

We have seen a number of colleagues who feel like failures in their profession, even when they are succeeding in their current jobs as educators.  Why?  Because they are not in the type of school their graduate work trained them for, and they are not living up to the expectations ingrained in them by their graduate work.

 

Direct download: sc_pod_192.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 9:38am PDT
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SC 191 The Specific Causes of Burnout in Educators 2

SC 191 The Specific Causes of Burnout in Educators 2

student-caring-burnout

ADDITIONAL CAUSES OF BURNOUT

Poor leadership:

 

  • Poor bosses are the number one reason employees state for leaving a job. In education, because of the unclear lines of authority present in the profession,  we often have several bosses:  a mentor, the department chair, the dean, and higher administration.  Each make demands on the educator that must be met.
  • Educators are by nature idealists and people who like to improve or fix things. Realizing that co-workers or “bosses” do no share their idealizing, or realizing that certain things will not be fixed, can be devastating to an educator’s morale.
  • In his book, Dr. Drummond differentiates between “problems” and “dilemmas.” A problem has a clear solution and can, indeed, be solved.  A dilemma is something more complicated—something without a clear solution or a problem that has been in place for a very long time.  Faculty who serve on college or university committees may be tempted to work on what they think are problems, only to find that their work is seemingly being wasted on a dilemma.  Politics in a department might seem like a problem, but the interpersonal roots of the problem, compounded over time, can have transformed what was once a problem into a dilemma.
  • A dysfunctional administration, or a school culture that changes very slowly (glacially), can lead to disappointment and burnout.
  • Administrators come from several different backgrounds: they have been educated in college administration; they are highly ambitious individuals who find the administration of an institution more interesting than the practice of education; they have worked their way through the ranks and want to give what they have learned to the institution and their colleagues; they are burned out educators looking to retreat into other sorts of work.  Some of these backgrounds negatively affect administrative views of faculty, and can lead to faculty disillusionment (just as faculty stereotypes of administrators, expressed in some of the categories above, can negatively affect faculty views of administration).

Life issues:

 

As educators, we are always “on stage.”  You must be fully there in a classroom to be an effective instructor.  Difficult life issues, such as those listed below, shorten your fuse, drain your energy levels, and make it difficult to be fully present to your students and colleagues:

 

  • Health (your own health and the health of loved ones)
  • Finances
  • Family problems

 

As educators, we cannot “retreat” for a time into our offices, or into an assigned project.  We need to be “on stage”—even when that’s the last thing we feel like doing.

WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS, FEEDBACK AND GUEST POST SUBMISSIONS.

Email:  General Information   |   Prof. David C. Pecoraro

Thank you!

Daniel & David

~~~~~

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SC 191 THE SPECIFIC CAUSES OF BURNOUT IN EDUCATORS 2

The Caring Professor

The Caring Professor

Direct download: sc_pod_191.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 1:13pm PDT
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SC 190 The Specific Causes of Burnout in Educators 1

SC 190 The Specific Causes of Burnout in Educators 1

student-caring-educator-burnout

Dr. Drummond identifies five general categories of burnout’s causes:

 

  1. The profession itself
  2. Your specific job
  3. Poor leadership
  4. Life issues
  5. Conditioning: the unrealistic expectations our educations have placed on us

 

Education has its own specifics that it brings to these categories.

 

The profession itself:

 

  • Never-ending work and hours: the work of grading papers, doing research, and preparing lectures is never finished.  These tasks will take up as much time as you give them.  Educators find themselves continuing their work into evenings and weekends, never feeling caught-up or well enough prepared.
  • Not seeing enough specific results—wave after wave of starting at the beginning: While there are advantages to beginning each term with a new batch of students, educators fall into the trap of wondering why, after teaching the same information and skills for so long, these students just don’t “get it.”  Also, we see our students for limited periods and, unless we have the pleasure of observing our students over four years, we do not see the results of the educational seeds we plant.
  • Problem students: Those of our students who are needy, disruptive, or who have severe problems to work through take up a lot of our time.  Encounters with such students can take the energy out of a class, turning it into something to dread instead of something to be excited about.
  • Public stereotypes: Who of us have not experienced the dismissal of our work from other professionals?  They are convinced we don’t work hard, have long vacations, and coast because of tenure.  They do not understand the truth of our profession—that a job that is not nine to five means endless work.
  • Income: We don’t enter education to get rich.  Our income often necessitates taking on extra classes or outside work, perpetuating the cycle of burnout.

 

Your specific job:

 

  • Course loads and overloads: Many of our colleagues teach four courses per semester, are expected to serve on college or university committees, take assigned work of the departments, advise students, and are expected to publish.  There’s also pressure to take on overload courses in some departments where hiring has not kept up with enrollment growth.
  • Committees and boundaries: Although they meet relatively infrequently, committee work can also demand preparation and additional tasks to be completed outside meeting times.  Committee work, like grading, research, and course preparation, will often take as much time as you’re willing to give it.
  • Politics: While politics are a way of life on any job, they can seem particularly complicated in the world of academe.  Difficult politics in a department, or in one’s interaction with administration, can make for a chronically stressful work environment.
  • Poor relationships with specific colleagues: Like problem students, difficult colleagues can become the focus of our interactions.  And, of course, sometimes we can be the difficult colleague, causing problems for those around us.  Educators experiencing burnout are good candidates for being difficult colleagues.

WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS, FEEDBACK AND GUEST POST SUBMISSIONS.

Email:  General Information   |   Prof. David C. Pecoraro

Thank you!

Daniel & David

~~~~~

All Podcasts via This Website

Click this Link to Subscribe via iTunes

Click this Link to Listen on Stitcher Smart Radio

Click this Link to Subscribe via Google Play

Click this Link to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed)

 

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SC 190 THE SPECIFIC CAUSES OF BURNOUT IN EDUCATORS 1

The Caring Professor

The Caring Professor

 

Direct download: sc_pod_190.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 10:06am PDT
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SC 189 Introducing Educator Burnout and its Causes

SC 189 Introducing Educator Burnout and its Causes

 educator-burnout

We’re basing our podcasts on an application of Dr. Dike Drummond’s book, Stop Physician Burnout:  What to Do When Working Harder Isn’t Working.  Dr. Drummond was a successful family physician, working his dream job in a dream location, when he realized he could not continue.  His burnout was so severe that he walked away from the practice of medicine, and now dedicates his time to helping doctors avoid burnout and find meaning and satisfaction in their profession.

Unfortunately, most of the ideas and observations Dr. Drummond presents are also present in higher education.  Our task will be to apply what fits to the educator’s world, and to offer some discipline-specific observations as well.

Stress and burnout are not the same.  Stress is temporary and can be motivating, while burnout is a chronic condition that de-motivates and gets worse over time.  Dr. Drummond identifies three key symptoms of burnout:

  • Exhaustion—no matter how many breaks you take, exhaustion does not go away. It’s like filling up your tank in the gas station, and while driving away, realizing your tank is still registering “empty.”
  • Depersonalization—the feeling of just wanting to get through your work uninterrupted by students, colleagues, and administration. The stages of depersonalization are venting, sarcasm, cynicism, and “compassion fatigue.”  Compassion fatigue is the point of knowing that you should care about the students and co-workers around you, but you just don’t have anything left to give.
  • Hopelessness—feelings of no longer having a purpose in your work, or of not making a difference.

WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS, FEEDBACK AND GUEST POST SUBMISSIONS.

Email:  General Information   |   Prof. David C. Pecoraro

Thank you!

Daniel & David

~~~~~

All Podcasts via This Website

Click this Link to Subscribe via iTunes

Click this Link to Listen on Stitcher Smart Radio

Click this Link to Subscribe via Google Play

Click this Link to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed)

 

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SC 189 INTRODUCING EDUCATOR BURNOUT AND ITS CAUSES

If you are concerned about making tenure or getting hired as a full time professor, this book is for you.
The Caring Professor




The Caring Professor

 

Direct download: sc_pod_189.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 10:32am PDT
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