Alexandria, VA (09/22/10)—Combating teacher burnout can seem like an endless battle, but author Mike Anderson outlines practical steps for teachers to take ownership of their physical, mental, and emotional wellness in his new ASCD book, The Well-Balanced Teacher: How to Work Smarter and Stay Sane Inside the Classroom and Out. Anderson documents struggles, bad habits, and eventual successes from his own classroom and from other healthy teachers.
Anderson claims deep-rooted equanimity is not out of reach, even for the most frustrated teachers. His guide to wellness asks teachers to remember that they are only human. “One of the most challenging aspects of being a teacher is that we must be able to see the forest and the trees at the same time,” writes Anderson. “Hopeless visionaries cannot manage the daily details, yet unimaginative micro managers can quickly lose sight of the greater goals.”
In this world of dichotomies, Anderson urges teachers to find balance by employing strategies that reduce the risk of emotional exhaustion. The book explores a variety of ways educators can attain balance at work, such as keeping personal logs on eating habits, exercise, and instructional time and engaging local media in school success stories. He wants teachers to
- Build positive relationships inside and outside of school;
- Make a difference—and understand their purpose—through their work;
- Remain passionate about teaching; and
- Set boundaries and manageable routines that enrich their lives at work and beyond.
“The Well-Balanced Teacher illustrates how often a teacher’s daily juggling act can quickly tip toward being overwhelming,” said ASCD Executive Director Gene R. Carter. “Mr. Anderson assures teachers that they can learn to be positive stewards of their own wellness—not only for themselves, but also for the children they teach each and every day.”
Anderson reminds teachers on the front line of education to remember an old adage: Take care of yourself first. “If a teacher is tired, hungry, lethargic, lonely, or uninspired, then there is a very good chance that he or she is not as good a caregiver as he or she could be,” writes Anderson. “I think teachers must find a personal sense of significance—so we can be the best teachers for the kids.”
Learn more about Mike Anderson and his new ASCD book, The Well-Balanced Teacher: How to Work Smarter and Stay Sane Inside the Classroom and Out, by participating in a free webinar on September 29 or reading his posts on the Whole Child Blog.
- Laura Berry, communications specialist, at 1-703-575-5461 or by e-mail.
- Julia Liapidova, communications specialist, at 1-703-575-5607 or by e-mail.
ASCD is a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. Comprising 125,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from more than 138 countries—the ASCD community also includes 56 affiliate organizations. ASCD’s innovative solutions promote the success of each child. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visitwww.ascd.org.
Mike Anderson is an education consultant, award-winning teacher, and author of many books including The Well-Balanced Teacher, The First Six Weeks of School, The Research-Ready Classroom, and Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn. Learn more about Mike and his work or invite him to work with your school or district through his website: www.leadinggreatlearning.com. Connect with Mike on Twitter: @balancedteacher.