Wanted: Sunshine

When we left Syracuse, it was -6. Somewhere in the world, there was warmth and sunshine. We found it in Turks and Caicos. As soon as we could, we threw on our suits and new coverups from Target.

Why Burnout is Such a Problem

I love a good Friday as well as the next person, but last Friday couldn’t come soon enough. The reason was simple: 3:00 pm on Friday marked the beginning of our Winter Break.

This year, I am fortunate enough to be able to get to a place of sun, but for many years, I spent the week at home, relaxing and catching up on odd jobs. Every errand I ran, however, resulted in the same conversation…”Must be nice to have the week off” or, even better, “Must be nice to only work half the year.”

If you are a teacher, you have heard the conversation and have felt your emotions range from apologetic, to irritated, to outright anger. I get it, in a way. After all, one of the perks of teaching is the built in, scheduled vacations. It is nice. It’s also necessary. Teacher burnout is no joke. In a recent pamphlet distributed by NYSUT, burnout is defined as “a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion caused by long-term involvement in emotionally demanding situations.” Exactly!

Many sources rank teaching as one of the top ten most stressful jobs. If you’re not a teacher, I can see how that might seem puzzling, even over-dramatic. But teaching is not a job you leave at the door. I have been teaching over 30 years and I still cart home papers. They haunt me all weekend long. Yes, all teachers are supposed to have a planning period, but for many, this “free period” is taken up making copies or helping students or making parental phone calls. Very rarely can I get a significant percentage of my correcting done in the course of my regular school day. Quite honestly, the job is never done.

"You can't Pour from an empty cup."

And for many, there is financial stress associated with this profession. People don’t go into teaching to get rich; if they do, they were tragically misinformed. Many teachers find their vacation days quickly consumed by their second job. I know many teachers who do landscaping or paint houses all summer. Many more have a second job tutoring or bartending.  Teacher pay can vary enormously among districts, but most teachers would struggle to help pay for their children’s college education on a teaching salary alone.

Additionally, much stress comes from students and parents and administrators. In a study by the University of Missouri, 93% of the elementary teacher respondants reported high levels of stress. The researchers then linked the resulting data to the behavioral and academic outcomes of their students. They found that high teacher stress levels were usually associated with poorer student results, such as lower grades and frequent behavior problems.” (http://neatoday.org/2018/05/11/study-high-teacher-stress-levels/)

It's true that teacher burnout is no joke. The stress of being a teacher is likely a factor in the current teacher shortage which will no doubt cycle back into more stress for the teacher who sees her class size grow to uncomfortable numbers. But what is the answer? From where I stand, the happiest teachers I know have positive friendships in the workplace. This may seem like a little thing, but it can make all the difference in the world. The work day of a teacher is a hectic one, but it’s clear that even a 30 minute lunch with your fellow soldiers can improve morale.

Floral Vacation Dress

After a day of sun, head out to dinner in a dress that can be worn on or off the shoulder. Available at Lascana.

Chic Pants

These Vince Camuto pants in a beautiful fern print make a chic ensemble for breakfast or lunch by the pool.

Paisley Dress with Matching Suit

This wrap dress is another great choice to throw on to head to the pool or beach. Loft also has swimwear in a matching print.

The Perfect Vacation Bag

I found the perfect little crossbody/clutch for a tropical vacation at Lascana. It is the perfect size to hold your room key, phone, lipstick and a card and cash. A steal at $39.00, this great find will be one you won't regret purchasing!!

Classy Cover up

This adorable piece is available at Target and is the perfect cover up at a perfect price! It features cute pom pom trim and a dip with a tie in the back. It's just the thing to throw over your suit on your way to grab a drink.

Tropical Print Dress

Fern prints are everywhere this season! I love the vacation vibe in this maxi dress from Beachsisi. Light and fun, it can also work as a cover up when you are headed to breakfast and then right out to the beach.
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