I was drawn to this article in the New York Times this morning: Why You Hate Work. Now, there is no way I can say I “hate” the work that I do. There is something uniquely satisfying about teaching even the smallest of skills or ideas to a child. Spiritually, teaching is an incredible opportunity to serve the greater good.
But the current atmosphere surrounding educators and education is particularly toxic.
Which made this OpEd citing conditions for mainly white-collar workers in corporate America kind of interesting.
Employees are vastly more satisfied and productive, it turns out, when four of their core needs are met: physical, through opportunities to regularly renew and recharge at work; emotional, by feeling valued and appreciated for their contributions; mental, when they have the opportunity to focus in an absorbed way on their most important tasks and define when and where they get their work done; and spiritual, by doing more of what they do best and enjoy most, and by feeling connected to a higher purpose at work.
As I read the article, I thought about how similar burnout in a white-collar environment is to burnout in education. According to this article posted in Forbes, 46% of all new teachers leave the professional within 5 years. Boomer teachers, like me, are finding it nearly intolerable to deal with the onerous working conditions brought on by mandate after mandate undermining what was once an honorable profession.
I’m not at all comforted by the fact that those who work in white-collar positions are feeling the same burnout that most educators increasingly experience. I am alarmed. I hope you are too.