– My Story
How can I be doing everything right and still be burning out?
That was the question I asked myself in 2004 when I found myself having regular meltdowns in private after a day of teaching.
I loved my job. Work made me happy – I loved the energy of middle schoolers, the creativity, the connection, the collegiality and the kids. I thrived on being a teacher – it was a joyous expression of my being. I was on track for a principalship, in the middle of my masters, co-facilitating social justice education workshops for teachers at the district, running lots of extra-curriculars that lit me up.
I was on fire.
I never expected to burnout.
The summer of 2004, after a 2 week meditation retreat, I crumbled with the realization that I could not go back into the classroom. I could not keep on this path of loving my job, yet feeling so awful.
I finished out my year with a beautiful class at a wonderful school while I went to counselling.
As it happened, that year my class was reading Paulo Coelho’s book, The Alchemist. The first time I read it I was inspired by the main character who left his regular life to pursue his dream of seeing the pyramids. This time around I saw myself in another character: the crystal merchant who dreams of going to Mecca but never actually gets around to going. I could not let that be me. I resigned for the end of the school year to focus on myself, my healing and my life path.
I took a year to heal, travel and re-build my life. Then as a fresh start I moved across the country and went back to teaching fulltime. As I continued on my healing journey I took certification courses in yoga, EFT, hypnosis, and core belief work. What I discovered transformed how I approached not only my work, but my life. I began to give workshops at annual teacher conferences to share what I learned.
Fast forward to today and I am fully immersed in working with people to heal their stressed out lives and empower them to carve out a life path that feeds their soul, and does not lead to burnout.
I feel blessed that I was guided to do the work I do. I firmly believe, no one, no teacher should have to burnout as a result of being passionate about their career. If you are reading this, you are reading it for a reason. I firmly believe there are no accidents. Teaching Wellbeing is designed to support teachers to prevent burnout – with loving, teacher-focused strategies that work in the real world.
There is stress in life, but stress shouldn’t be a way of life.
– My Bio.
Joanna taught K-12 (but mostly Grade 7&8) for a decade and now works in holistic health using BioResonance, hypnosis, transformative coaching, reiki, yoga and meditation to help people make lasting positive change in their physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. You can visit her other work at www.ecohealthcentre.ca
Joanna’s research for her MA in Teacher Development from OISE at The University of Toronto focused on teacher burnout. Formerly she has taught a course on preventing teacher burnout at OISE-UT, and continues to publish in Education Journals, and give workshops and presentations. In May of 2017 her chapter, Healing Archetypes: Reclaiming Teacher Wellbeing by Embodying the Wild Feminine will be featured in the book, Holistic Education: Past, Present and Future.