Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Make Distinctions Between Your Job And Your Personal Life as a Special Ed Teacher

Today, a host of sociological factors, such as poverty, child abuse, and single parent families, affect many school-age children. Consequently, teachers are faced with educating students who present a complex array of problems. Being able to show empathy for students and their problems without allowing those problems to consume you is critical. "Teachers who become closely involved and preoccupied with the personal and family problems of their students may increase their vulnerability to burnout" (Greer & Greer, 1992, p. 170). When you leave the classroom, do the mental work necessary to leave thoughts of your students in the work environment. If you need to share feelings or vent frustrations, set aside a time once or twice a week to discuss them with another teacher, friend, or significant other. When you discuss frustrations, try to find solutions to the stressful situation. Repeated discussion about your frustrations without any solution only heightens them.

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