Avoid Burn-Out

Goal 2: Avoid Burn-Out of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators. Click the link to find out more about the 30 Goals Challenge for Educators.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”~ Mary Anne Radmacher

This year with the 30 Goals Challenge for Educators, our 30 Goals Facebook community is voting on what some of the goals will be. We are grabbing this from the list of goals from the previous 3 cycles.  Goal 2 and 3 have been decided which is avoid burn-out (Goal 19 of 2011) and share your personal theme song (Goal 8 of 2010). This year’s theme is, “This is MY Moment.” Each goal will focus on getting educators to believe their plans of action now will lead to positive changes and transformation in their teaching and learning environments. We will also be having our first Google Hang-Out interview on July 1st with past participant, Vicky Loras, who is an amazing educator in Switzerland and a very dear friend. More details will be posted tomorrow but follow this link for the event, https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c80pdm1e7amujb6ifvpmom6rqrk

My Take on the Goal

Each year as a teacher I struggle with burn-out. The number one thing that helps me is SUPPORT, support from friends, family, and my PLN. Part of the reason The 30 Goals is more collaborative this year is because I have found that when you ask your friends to join a movement and give them the freedom to help you out, the movement moves. We can’t successfully or effectively complete our mission as educators without support. Vicky Loras, an amazing friend actually posted about Goal 2 first and this kicked things up for me as well as the feedback and activity from our Facebook community. It’s great to know that the community of educators we have built will be there when things get busy or life events get in the way.

Another important way I avoid burn-out is through taking time for myself everyday. I pause. I tend to be a workaholic and a type A person so being stressed is something I struggle with daily. Therefore, I have created 2 to do lists- my actual one and a personal to do list. Sometimes as teachers we allow our to do list to take up our personal to do list. Everyday I try to chuck something from the to do list and instead focus on the personal to do list. This action signifies to me that I am making steps toward giving myself “me” time. I also schedule Google calendar alerts that remind me to take time for myself.

For more ideas about this goal, check out the video I did in 2011.


Short-term-Take at least one hour for yourself where you don’t dwell on your role as an educator but instead give your time to relax and have some fun. Tyson Seburn, who will be another educator we will Hang-Out with posted a graph of how he spent his time for this goal. Check out Tyson’s post and graph

We are pinning ideas on ways to avoid burn-out here. Please let me know either through Twitter,@ShellTerrell, or our Facebook community what your Pinterest name is so I can add you as a contributor so you add your ideas.

Long-term- Begin to schedule weekly even daily times where you leave your work as an educator behind and aim for balance. We can’t save them all. We have to try to find away to let go. How can we best do this?


Educational Leadership Goal

This year we will also be outlining goals for those in leadership roles- principals, vps, administrators, district policy leaders, superintendents, instructional technology leaders, etc. Lisa Dabbs, who was a principal for many years, will be posting her thoughts and reflections for leadership in her blog, Teaching with Soul.
Goal- As a leader, think about events and programs that you can schedule to help your teachers avoid burn-out. At one job, they gave awards for miles walked around the school and other healthy activities. At another job they had an intramural sports team. What ways can you make your meetings more participatory? In what ways can you ensure your teachers feel their ideas and concerns are being heard and acted upon at each meeting?

New Teacher Goal

This year we will also be outlining goals for new teachers or teachers in training. Lisa Dabbs, who mentors new teachers through #NTChat (new teacher chat), will be posting her thoughts and support in her blog, Teaching with Soul.
Goal- As a new teacher, start planning now how each day you will avoid burn-out.

More Posts Related to This Goal


Take an hour for yourself each day for a week. Add ideas of ways you avoid burn-out by contributing to our Pinterest Board on avoiding burn-out!

Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30GoalsEdu, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, or adding a comment below! All goals are organized in this 30 Goals Livebinder.

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Please fill out this Google Form if you reflected on at least 1 goal so you will be listed in a 30 Goals blog list and on a 30 Goals Twitter list.

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via TeacherRebootCamp.com, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Facebook.com/shellyterrell. Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.

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