In most workplaces, feelings of ambivalence, stress, and overextension are the norm of everyday professional life.
While private sector firms like Johnson & Johnson can offer executives a $100,000 anti-burnout program, most public institutions have neither the budget nor the public support to offer such perks, write Jill Berkowicz and Ann Myers for Education Week.
The public is putting rising pressure on education institutions to innovate their teaching methods, meet the ever-changing needs of students, keep up with technology, and cultivate an inclusive environment, it's no wonder that educational leaders can get overwhelmed, note Berkowicz and Myers.
But when educational leaders burn out, their mistakes won't just hurt the institution, they may hurt the students, the authors warn. Unlike private sector executives, educational administrators have a responsibility not only to themselves and the organization, but also to students they've promised to serve, they write.
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Berkowicz and Myerscite an article by Richard Ackerman and Pat Maslin-Ostrowski arguing that even the most well-intentioned efforts can go awry if leaders aren't in the right frame of mind.
Burnout can also lead to cynicism toward new ideas for improving their institution, according to Ackerman and Maslin-Ostrowski. "For many educators, a kind of weariness or wariness has set in as expectations for performance—their own as well as their students'—sometimes far exceed well-intentioned effort," they write.
So, leaders take heed. Protect yourself and your students by adopting daily strategies to keep yourself replenished and motivated, recommend Berkowicz and Myers.
In addition to making time for yourself, invest in relationships with partners and colleagues who can keep you focused, they add. Not only will little changes like these make you a better leader, but it'll benefit your institution and your students too, write Berkowicz and Myers (Berkowicz/Myers, Education Week, 9/15).
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