The statistics do not lie.
Half a million teachers leave the teaching profession every year, while another 41% leave within 5 years of starting their career.
Reasons for this high drop out rate likely relate to teachers’ quality of life. A recent survey found 61% of teachers found their jobs to be often or always stressful, with another 58% reporting poor mental health as a result of this stress. And while summer break provides a break from the stress, within 2-3 weeks of returning back to school, those same feelings return.
These statistics break my heart and cause me great concern.
The profession that is largely responsible for raising up our next generation of professionals is doing so stressed and burnt out. You and I both know that when we are not at our best, we most certainly cannot give others our best.
And yet that is what is expected of teachers.
The question begs, then, what can be done? How can we help our teachers find renewed energy, passion, and dedication to educate and love on our children?
This one question is being explored in record numbers as researchers desperately look to find solutions.
Recently, I sat down with Lindsay Cook, a 5th-grade school teacher. In our time together, she talked about the stress and anxiety she had experienced and how this stress affected her not only in the classroom but at home as well.
It was the prompting of her concerned husband who helped her find a different and better way to approach teaching; one that allowed her to do what she passionately loves, but with more balance.
What was her solution? Job sharing.
“I Feel More Alive”
It has been two years since Lindsay started job sharing, where she spends her mornings teaching her fifth-graders before a coworker comes in to take over in the afternoon.
As Lindsay describes in the interview, the benefits of this new arrangement have made all the difference.
“I’m feeling more alive. I’m having more fun. I’m more comfortable with who I am. I have more time to focus on my faith. We have more family time. I have less stress and anxiety, and more balance.”
Does anyone else get chills as you see how Lindsay is benefiting from stepping out in faith to live life differently?
Lindsay’s openness to think outside the box and her courageousness to try something new (despite her fears) is giving her a renewed passion for life.
Isn’t this what life is all about?
Shouldn’t life be less about the tangibles and more about living out the gifts God has placed within us in a more balanced, sustainable way?
I think so.
God thinks so, too.
God Wants You to Be Balanced
The Bible is very clear about how we should live out our life.
For what does it profit a man to gain the world and forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36)
“What gains has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil – that is God’s gift to man.” (Ecclesiastes 3:9-13, emphasis mine)
You see, God is not interested in you “gaining the world” only to lose your soul. He is much more interested in you finding balance in your life so that you can find joy and take pleasure from your hard work. It is, after all, God’s gift to you!
The question that begs to be asked, then, is this: Are you gaining the world but losing your soul?
If you answered yes, dear friend, I pray that you listen to Lindsay’s interview in its entirety. Let her words plant a seed in your heart as you begin to question, “Can I do life differently?”
Once you’ve resolved that it’s time for a change, ask God to show you how. Spend time each day getting quiet from the noise of the world so that you can hear God’s whisper. Let His words fill you with truth, and passion to serve Him in a way that restores your weary and worn-out soul.
Lindsay found restoration by finding more balance in life. This same restoration is for you as well.
If you need someone to help you walk this journey, will you connect with me? I offer one-on-one coaching services that help woman, like you, find more balance in life. More than anything I want to help you restore your soul so that you can find the renewed energy and joy that Lindsay has found.
- What part of Lindsay’s story resonated most with you?
- What fears do you have around choosing to live life differently? What benefits may you foresee?
- What is one faith-step you can take today to move toward a more balanced life?