Prior to teaching I simply had no idea it was possible to be THAT physically and emotionally tired at 5 PM on a Friday night; even after 7 years practicing law in Manhattan. I love my job and the organization I work for, but I still think about how teachers I work with spend their time. My wife recently sent me the Atlantic article Why Introverted Teachers are Burning Out and it really put together a lot of developments that many people I know struggle with daily. While the article is valuable, John Spencer’s post referenced in it provides the best diagnosis of the problem:
Over the years, it became harder and harder to be an introverted teacher. Every professional development opportunity involved sitting in a massive group, doing ice breakers (I would rather let the ice melt slowly) and then tons of pair-share exercises. We shifted toward more time before and after school being out on duty. In the name of collaboration, we started planning lessons together and meeting in groups to form common assessments. Slowly, prep periods became group planning time.
I have some thoughts on ways to support our quieter teachers that I’ll write about later. But for now, I think I have a meeting to go…
(And yes, I agree with the observation that being an “introvert” is kind of becoming a trend. Or maybe Susan Cain is on to something.)