being a teacher, being me

How are you breaking your productivity guilt?

I cannot be the only one who navigates productivity guilt.

You know, that feeling of never having accomplished enough as an educator, or adult, and therefore not deserving of rest.

The bad news? Productivity guilt can lead to major health implications, I know this, I have had major health implications the last 5 years of being a teacher such as anxiety, a weakened immune system leading to multiple pneumonia and bronchitis bouts, and high blood pressure.

The good news – it doesn’t have to be this way. But as someone who is still trying to break productivity guilt habits, it is hard to break. The educational system is set up to make us constantly cross our own self-imposed boundaries. And the needs of our communities can be so high. So finding a way to still be productive while also knowing when to work can be a process in itself.

After learning more about productivity guilt, I wanted to share a few tips and ideas for how to recognize t, and more importantly, how to do something about it in order for you to feel healthier. I cross-posted this on Instagram but wanted to make sure I shared it here as well.

If you are not sure how to cut down on your workload, I will gladly help alleviate some of it. Just let me know how I can help. 

Here are a few ideas for how to recognize and lessen productivity guilt so you can get back to living the life you deserve.

6 thoughts on “How are you breaking your productivity guilt?”

  1. Yesterday afternoon I took an illegitimate nap and still feel guilty about it. I need to stop the running guilt voice in my head and say to myself that my body needed the rest. Thanks for your timely article.

    1. Absolutely, it is bonkers how we have trained ourselves that listening to our own bodies is somehow breaking the adulting rules. That should be one of the first things we listen to.

  2. I’m so glad you have sent this out. Yes it’s real. And like a lot of other educators, you WANT to do it all. Why? To help and nurture students to be successful. But it is unrealistic the amount of work expected. And I’m listening to you because you’ve been there. I’m not listening to one more admin who just feels pressure from above. Frankly it’s the same for them in our current system . I would love to revamp well.. everything. Thank you for what you do.

  3. This really resonates with me! After 25 years in education, NBCT and renewed, I’m taking a year of leave to be a caregiver for a family member dealing with a chronic health condition. How many times have I neglected me and my family due to “educator productivity” issues? Now I’m trying to pivot and find other work, and it’s hard. Sadly, the tech skills I have don’t easily transfer to a business workplace or shine on a resume. Finding the way to “spin” my soft skills and years of management is not easy, and workplace biases are prevalent. We are more that “just teachers.” People think because they went to school, have a kid in school, etc. that they KNOW what teachers do. Nothing is further from the truth. I know many professionals work hard in many work places, but I have a master’s plus 90 credit hours and have topped out on my district’s pay scale. How is that fair?

    1. It is not, and it is hard not to get disheartened when you are looking outside of the sector. It is hard to feel valued when we know how much we can bring to a business setting but others don’t see that. I hope you find a soft place to land.

      1. Even before I took family medical leave, I was trying hard to push back at work with colleagues, admins, and community about the workload and “do more” mentality that is so prevalent. Teachers spend so much time advocating, and it’s hard to quantify the time it takes to do things like learn to use a new online sub system, collaborate and communicate on individual education plans for special needs students, and even things like finding a safe place to eat lunch during a pandemic. I had to ask three times for PPE last year, and finally got a letter from a doctor to send to my admin’s supervisor to stress my needs. All of this is time-intensive, and I decided to stop doing the basics AND all the other duties. Something has to give, and it’s not going to be me anymore!

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