Teacher burnout is a pervasive issue that has been steadily worsening over the years. It’s a state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion that can lead to a decrease in effectiveness, a lack of enthusiasm for the profession, and a decline in overall well-being. I know this because I’ve lived it. I was once an educator, constantly exhausted, unable to think clearly, and becoming less efficient at my work, eventually spiraling into depression and hopelessness. This is my journey of overcoming burnout and how it led to the creation of “The Art of Self-Preservation: Navigating Burnout in Education.”

The Onset of Burnout

My burnout began with constant physical exhaustion. Weekends and the first few weeks of summer break were spent sleeping, trying to recover from the relentless demands of the job. As time went on, I found myself not being, as my former boss said, “my normal self”. I was easily frustrated and annoyed with people. I started getting sick much easier and having to call out, I was making more and more simple mistakes when doing the never-ending paperwork that comes with education.  I felt like I could never get caught up with my work and give all the support that I wanted to give to teachers.

The Physical Impact of Burnout

As the burnout continued, it began to take a physical toll. I started to experience various ailments, and tasks that I once found enjoyable became a chore. I lost my desire to work, and I began to feel depressed and hopeless. Despite these feelings, I felt trapped. I had been teaching for over 20 years and was closer to retirement than not. So, I forced myself to continue, which only exacerbated my depression and hopelessness.

The Tipping Point

When schools returned to in-person learning amidst a severe staffing shortage, I found myself subbing four to five full days a week, in addition to fulfilling my own job responsibilities. I was covering the job of a strategist who had been put in the classroom due to the staffing shortage, while another strategist was out on maternity leave. Despite these additional responsibilities, there were still school-wide initiatives that needed planning and support, teachers who needed instructional support, and the never-ending cycle of WIDA, MAPS, and other testing that needed to be done.

Eventually, the two other strategists returned to their positions, but the distribution of subbing duties remained unequal. I continued to sub and cover more than the other two strategists, without any reduction in my job responsibilities. This imbalance led me to advocate for myself, insisting on equal subbing and class coverage among all strategists. However, despite my best efforts, the additional stress and workload continued to exacerbate my burnout.

The tipping point came the Fall of 2022, I went from being an ultra-efficient instructional coach/strategist who took great pride in her job and supporting teachers, to hating my job every single day. Even interacting with the students wasn’t bringing me as much joy as it used to. I was spiraling, and it scared me. My depression was getting worse and worse. I started dreaming of selling my home and moving to live off the coast of Oregon. One day, I put up my home for sale, and it quickly sold. I had no plan of what to do next, but I knew I couldn’t continue on the path I was on.  My depression and hopelessness had gotten too deep.  

The Healing Journey

Recognizing these signs, I sought help from my doctor and therapist. But I also realized that I needed to delve deeper into why I was experiencing burnout. This wasn’t the first time I had felt this way, and simply changing schools didn’t alleviate the problem. I needed to understand the root cause of my burnout to prevent it from happening again. This realization was the first step in my healing journey and the beginning of my path to creating “The Art of Self-Preservation: Navigating Burnout in Education.”

The Decision to Leave

Despite my best efforts to manage my workload and maintain my boundaries, I found that others often failed to respect the boundaries I had put in place to protect my mental, emotional, and physical health. This lack of respect for my boundaries was a significant factor in my decision to leave education in January 2022 and move to a new state.

In March 2023, I founded my consulting firm so I could continue to do what I loved – teaching and training adults. I saw firsthand every day how hard educators worked and the challenges they faced. I wanted to continue to support them in meaningful ways through doing what I loved, creating practical trainings designed to ease the stress of teachers. I found that for me, leaving public education was the best way to address my burnout and give that same energy I brought to my job to my new consulting firm.

Creating “The Art of Self-Preservation: Navigating Burnout in Education”

Creating this course was a form of therapy for me. It allowed me to delve deeper into the causes of my burnout and find ways to prevent it from happening again. One of the key insights I gained was the importance of identifying and adjusting our core beliefs as educators. Often, these beliefs can harm us more than they help us. For example, I held the belief that I couldn’t say no to additional responsibilities, which led to excessive stress and pressure. By identifying and adjusting this belief, I was able to alleviate some of my burnout.

However, I realized that despite my best efforts to advocate for myself, maintaining the boundaries I had set was a constant struggle. There always seemed to be a pressing need or an urgent matter that was deemed more important than my boundaries. This disregard for the boundaries I had put in place to protect my mental, emotional, and physical health only added to my feelings of depression and burnout. It became clear that while I could set boundaries, the environment in which I was working did not always support or respect them. 

The Impact on My Perspective on Teaching and Self-Care

My experience with burnout and the creation of this course drastically changed my perspective on teaching and self-care. I realized that burnout in education was a symptom of a much larger problem, one that teachers can’t fix no matter how hard they work. I understood that the only way to change my personal situation was to identify what I needed to be successful as a educator and advocate for it.

While my healing journey ultimately led me to leave education and move to a new state, I understand that many educators may not want or have the means to do that. But they need support in navigating the tough waters of education to find that work-life balance again. Trying to find that work-life balance led me to create a resource that I hope could help other educators navigate their own burnout. “The Art of Self-Preservation: Navigating Burnout in Education” is a course born out of personal experience and a deep understanding of the challenges educators face.


If you’re an educator struggling with burnout, know that you’re not alone. There are strategies and resources available to help you navigate this challenging experience. My deepest wish is that you, as a fellow educator, are able to find your way through your burnout as well. Whether that means setting boundaries, adjusting your core beliefs, or even leaving the profession, remember that your mental, emotional, and physical health are paramount. It’s okay to prioritize them. It’s okay to choose yourself. In fact, I hope that you do.

Is this you?

If this article resonated with you, if you've felt the weight of exhaustion, the frustration of unmanageable workloads, and the despair of feeling trapped in a cycle of burnout, know that you're not alone. There are strategies and resources available to help you navigate this challenging experience. I invite you to consider enrolling in "The Art of Self-Preservation: Navigating Burnout in Education" on Thinkific. This course is designed to provide you with the tools and insights you need to understand, manage, and overcome burnout. For a limited time, I'm offering a 50% discount on your enrollment. Simply use the code "EDUBURNOUT50" at checkout. This is more than just a course; it's an investment in your well-being and a step towards reclaiming your passion for education. Don't let burnout dictate your career and life. Start your journey towards recovery today. Remember, it's not just about surviving in the world of education; it's about thriving. You deserve to work in a profession you love without sacrificing your health and happiness.