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October 1, 2018
Vol. 76
No. 2

Readers React

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School Culture
Professional Learning
Earlier this year, we hosted an #ASCDL2L Twitter chat on the topic of our summer issue, Fighting Educator Burnout. Here are some highlights:

What are the main causes of educator burnout or severe stress?

Not enough focus, either because of internal or external forces, in and out of [your] control. I experience a "low energy" sign every year around the start of Q4.
Simon L. Masters Biology teacher and department chair, Beaumont School, Ohio
A main cause of educator burnout is punitive evaluation policies. Educators are held to a higher standard without adequate support, including financial compensation and quality professional learning.
Dr. Cathy Atria Professor of educational practice, College of Education, University of Florida

How can a school's culture contribute to burnout?

Leadership must prioritize teacher well-being. There can be no question among staff that this is highly valued. The absence of this sentiment is sure to increase risk for burnout. How can I possibly do my best if you don't care about me?
Justin Thomas Principal, Nannie Berry Elementary School, Tennessee

What steps can school leaders take to prevent or reduce teacher burnout?

School leaders must understand that teachers require varying degrees and types of support.
Adam Brown Dean of students, Virginia Beach City Public Schools

How can school leaders better recognize and address burnout in themselves?

I'd say when you start forgetting that it's people, not data, that make up your school, you're headed for burnout.
Stephanie Wendel 3rd grade teacher, McSwain Union Elementary School District, California

What will you do to practice self-care and avoid burnout?

Create a plan that organizes my priorities and focuses on pacing. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon.
Paul Combs Campus content instructional strategist, social studies, Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, Texas

Love (or dislike) something in a recent issue of EL? We want to hear about it! Write to us or on Twitter. Printed reactions may be edited for clarity and length.

EL’s experienced team of writers and editors produces Educational Leadership magazine, an award-winning publication that reaches hundreds of thousands of K-12 educators and leaders each year. Our work directly supports the mission of ASCD: To empower educators to achieve excellence in learning, teaching, and leading so that every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. 

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