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Re: Teacher Burn Out


From: Mark Alexander (markcalexander_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Mar 06 2003 - 04:08:51 PST

I've been lax in following ArtsEdNet the last few weeks, but I'm feeling burnt out. I'm blessed with my art work, which seems to be the surf board carrying me through the rough waters.
Presently it seems as if my life is a wave of distracting stuff that makes the difficulties of being a good teacher inconsequential.
I am in danger of being run over by a parent driven bandwagon that is bearing down on me and I've been in daily contact with CEA and private lawyers to limit the damage (fortunately, my principal, superintendent and BoE Chair is standing firmly with me) .
Meanwhile, one of the two grad courses I'm taking this semester has me doing a professional action research project and I'm finding I have little energy to apply to it. On top of it all, I've been suffering through a long bout with the flu (or maybe my Lyme Disease has returned?), I'm in constant fear that my country is taking a very destructive path, and last but far from least, both of my sons (19 and 21) have me very worried as they deal with their own difficult issues.
I have two aspects of my life which are saving me: My partner and my art. Trish is so supportive despite my seemingly never ending saga of wave after wave of bad news. She loves to collaborate with me in my art making, which is the creation of puppets, characterizations and performance art. We have a big break scheduled for next weekend for which I'm creating two new puppets for my Mortal Beasts and Deities series. We're furiously preparing the characterization details of these new puppets for a performance at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art on Saturday the 15th, in North Adams. I'll send pictures to Judy afterwards. Those of you nearby might enjoy the show. Email me privately for details.
So I'm on auto pilot in the classroom. There is a lot of good stuff happening there, but I'm feeling a bit burnt out and have recently needed to take a few days off to cope. Every day I thank Trish and the Mortal Beasts and Deities for helping me get through all this.
Peace, Mark

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