Student Caring - A Podcast for Professors
Join professors de Roulet and Pecoraro as they encourage professors to achieve success.
SC 193 Burnout Solutions #1

SC 193 Burnout Solutions #1

student-caring

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.

 SOLUTIONS TO EDUCATOR BURNOUT

 

No. 1:  Your inner perfectionist critic:

  • We are our own worse critic.
    • Oh, I could do better.
    • I can't grade papers fast enough.
    • I could have done better in that meeting.
  • Our response: "Thank you for sharing."

No. 2:  Burnout is a problem, not a dilemma:

  • We can solve problems.

No. 3:  Do the big 180:

  • Focus on what you want instead of what you don't.

No. 4: You are not a super hero, become a great plate spinner instead:

  • Learn how to spin one plate really well. Once you have done that, consider adding another plate.

No. 5:  Celebrate all wins:

  • Lean to be happy will all wins and don't focus on the failures.
    • Treat yourself like a good dog. (A cute one.)

Your inner perfectionist critic:

  • Our desire to be perfect is motivated by a strong desire to be the best.
  • Our training (graduate school) forces us to strive for perfection.
  • Perfection can lead to despair. 
  • Student: "Oh, that professor is just coasting."
  • Talk back to the voices in your head:
    • "I hear what you're saying, thanks." Now, move on.

Your inner perfectionist critic:

  • Our desire to be perfect is motivated by a strong desire to be the best.
  • Our training (graduate school) forces us to strive for perfection.

 

We welcome your comments, feedback and guest post submissions.

Email:  General Information   |   Prof. David C. Pecoraro

Thank you!

Daniel & David

 

Direct download: sc_pod_193.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 10:09pm PST
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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 PST
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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

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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

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SC 190 THE SPECIFIC CAUSES OF BURNOUT IN EDUCATORS 1

The Caring Professor

The Caring Professor

 

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Category:Education -- posted at: 10:06am PST
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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 PST
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SC 188 Text Books

How we can help our students with textbooks. 

 student-caring-textbooks

Our students are not known for being the best textbook readers.

THE NATURE OF TEXTBOOKS IN HIGHER EDUCATION TODAY.

  • Textbooks are sometimes prohibitively expensive.
  • Students can’t afford the required books.
  • Student: “I can get another version of the textbook cheeper!”
    • Disaster.
  • Student: “My textbook didn’t arrive yet!”
    • Meaning: “It is their fault.”

HOW WE CAN HELP OUR STUDENTS UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT THE TEXT BOOKS AND READING THEM ARE FOR THEIR SUCCESS.

  • Tell your students how important and critical it is that they get the textbook immediately.
  • Professor: “How many of you are interested in getting an “A” in the class? Please raise your hand.”
    • Lots of hands go up!
    • Professor:  “Great! You need to buy the book, today.” I am not guaranteeing you an “A,” but I am saying that won’t get an “A” unless you buy the book.”
  • We can order an instructor copy and put it on reserve in the library.
  • We can gently suggest to our students that they share a textbook.
    • Given the right situation and maturity level, sharing a textbook can work.
  • Make sure your assignments are actually using the readings in the textbooks.
    • Student: “They made me buy the textbook for $300. and we didn’t even use it!”
  • In week two or three say: “How many of you have the book?”

 

Next week: Introduction to the series: The Causes of Burnout for Educators.

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

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SC 188 TEXTBOOKS

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_188.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 4:04pm PST
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SC 187 Meetings - Meetings - Meetings!

How we can thrive and survive - meetings.

student-caring

Notes from our podcast.

What makes a meeting bad, good, and recommendations.

  • Meetings are part of our lives, either as the organizer or attendee.
  • Bad meetings are meetings that run long.
  • Meetings should not run more than 30 minutes.
  • Causes of a bad meeting:
    • A poorly established agenda
    • Lack of leadership
    • The tendency of people to talk to much
  • How do you know when you are in a good meeting?
    • The time goes by quickly
    • There is a purpose to the meeting
    • The meeting ends when you are done with the agenda
  • A meeting should only exist if there is reason for the personnel to interact with a topic.
  • Do not bring people together to inform them.
  • Colleagues should not be allowed to speak endlessly.

Recommendations...

  • You can set time limits on the agenda items.
  • Recognize that you can't control the behavior of others, but you can control your own.
  • Think about what you want to say and say it concisely. 
  • If a meeting is wandering off topic, you can bring everyone back to focus by stating where we are and where we need to be.

Next week: Buying and Reading Books

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)

 

###

SC 187 Meetings - Meetings - Meetings!

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_187.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 7:34pm PST
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SC 186 Caring for First Generation College Students

 

sc-186-caring-for-first-generation-college-students

How we can welcome our newest college students...

Notes from our podcast.

  • Statistics tell us that the population of students who are first in their families to attend college is growing.
  • Families want their kids to get better jobs than they have and see a college education as the answer.
  • Families often don't understand what a college experience will be like for their kids.
  • At David's university, 44% of the student population are first time college students. Wow!
  • These students are pioneers in their families.
  • Parents may have unrealistic expectation for their kids and apply unneccessary pressure.

Independance and Responsibility...

  • The notion of a syllabus and assignments may cause great fear for them. Moreover, they may be embarrassed about asking too many questions.
  • We need to teach and encourage these students more than others because they have no one at home who understands the college journey. We need to help them to understand the landscape.

Recommendations...

  • Have your university create a website of resources for first generation students and their parents, possibly available in multiple languages.
  • Get to know who these students are in your classes.
  • Recognize that these students need extra special care.
  • Let your students know that okay to "not get it all the time."

Next week: Meetings - Meetings - Meetings!

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)

 

###

SC 186 Caring for First Generation College Students

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_186.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 10:28am PST
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SC 185 Welcoming New Students

HOW WE CAN WELCOME OUR NEWEST COLLEGE STUDENTS…

  • We can identify who they are by asking for a show of hands or asking them to complete a survey.
  • Help your students understand what “college behavior” is and what you expect. This is not a continuation of high school.
  • Very early in the semester, our students will either sink or swim, now is the time to offer help.

SUGGESTIONS:

  • At the beginning of your class, offer to help anyone who might need it.
  • As the semester progress, explain what normally happens during each week of the term.
  • The first semester can be a dangerous time for new students, we don’t wan’t it to be their last.
  • Explaining what academic probation really means can be a much needed wake up call.
  • Remind students when class starts. There are no bells, like they had in high school.
  • Remind your students about your office hours.
  • Take your lunch in a place where your students are eating too. Just being available in a casual place can create an opportunity for an important talk about the college experience.

Next week: Helping First Time College Students

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 185 WELCOMING NEW STUDENTS

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_185.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 12:21pm PST
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SC 184 Welcoming New Colleagues

We celebrate people when they are leaving, 
but not necessarily when they are arriving. 

We're glad you're here! Not, we're glad you were here.

When you are new to a college...

  • Being a faculty member at a new place is stressful. In fact, the entire new semester is stressful.

How we can help our newest colleagues.

  • Introduce yourself to a new person and offer to help. "I can be a resource for you."
  • Recall what it was like when you were new. What could have helped you?
  • Don't give them extra things to do.
  • Discourage them from volunteering for extra work. We want a first year person to concentrate on teaching.
  • If they were the second choice for the job, don't tell them!
  • Invite them to lunch!

Next week: Welcoming New Students

We welcome your comments, feedback and guest post submissions.

Email:  General Information   |   Prof. David C. Pecoraro

Thank you!

Daniel & David

 

Direct download: sc_pod_184.mp3
Category:Education -- posted at: 10:40am PST
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