Avoiding Burnout

Today, I came to the realization that I'm approaching burnout, and that I need to do something to stay healthy for the break and the second semester.

I've also learned this year that I need a creative outlet to stay healthy, which is problem numero uno. I haven't taken time to truly be creative since the summer. So, I'm turning my needs around to help push the creativity of my students. (I don’t think this is unethical, but if you do, please let me know in the comments).

I have a split elective class: one half is working on web design, and the other is working on photo editing. Both groups are doing a similar assignment, pulled from the Digital Storytelling: 106 archives. The web design side is hijacking the HTML of a website to tell a different story. The photo editing kids will be redesigning an existing website's logo using GIMP. I will be doing both projects along with the kids so we can continue to learn together.

The final deadline is January 12, but I'll begin posting finished assignments as they begin to roll in from the students. I'm hoping that as I dive into working with students, I'll begin to feel a little more relaxed and less burnt out. If you have other ideas on how to beat burnout, I'd love to hear them in the comments.

Featured image photo credit: Skley via photopin cc

5 thoughts on “Avoiding Burnout

  1. Arnold says:

    I feel your pain my friend. When you burn hard as you do, it is easy to flame out. You have too much to give to too many kids! Stay strong, take care of your own sanity above all. From very personal and painful experience, your health and family have to come first or you won’t do the kids any good either!

  2. Brian,

    I don’t know you personally; I follow you on Twitter. I was moved to comment on your post. I have been teaching math for 21 years. I seriously contemplated quitting teaching not
    once, but twice. I remember feeling completely exhausted at both of those times in my life.

    Your enthusiasm and passion for teaching comes through your written words loud and clear. Protect it. This is as important as anything you do for your career and yourself. Figure
    out whatever it needs to be for you. Balance is attainable; it may not always look the same from person to person, but it is possible.

    It is almost December break. You can make it. You need a little rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.
    Hang in there and do something for yourself.

    Best wishes,


  3. Julie and GA, thank you for the encouragement. I’m not considering quitting or walking off the job, but I am recognizing that I need to take more time for myself. I’m a dive-in-all-the-way person, which is great when things need to get done, but not so great when I lost focus on other things.

    I’ve already started my projects and I’m excited to share what I come up with over the next couple weeks. Thanks again for the encouragement.

  4. mikevigilant says:

    A recommendation: consider finding something to do after school, not with your students. It’s great that you’re exploring your interests with them, but there’s nothing wrong with having your own thing going on too. I love reading and Xbox, both of which take my mind of a long day at school. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just distracting enough.
    The break will help–I know I’m exhausted, frustrated, and unhappy, and I’m looking forward to 9 days off to relax, reflect, and renew before the 3rd quarter.

    • Brian Bennett says:

      That was my goal with the web design projects I described in the post. I don’t work on them during class unless I can sneak a minute or two of code in. So, I take it home and work on it a little bit after dinner each night. It’s been relaxing, which is good. My wife and I also just bought a house, so there will be a lot more projects at home that take up time after school, which is nice also.

      Thanks for the thoughts.

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