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Kendra Malone was a tenured teacher in a suburban district in the Midwest. She was the type of person who had always wanted to be a teacher. Kendra spent her childhood teaching her friends, and when they were unwilling, her stuffed animals, all about reading, writing, and arithmetic. She loved teaching and absolutely enjoyed working with the kids. Currently, she was a ninth grade science teacher, and she was in a rut. She enjoyed her profession, but had been immersed in it for such a long period of time, twelve hectic years, that she was reaching burnout. She met with her principal to openly address her concerns. Kendra was not ready to leave education but had always vowed never to stay in beyond her ability to do a good job for herself and the students.

 
Click here to listen to conversation of principal and Kendra. [Audio Transcript]

Her principal, Madeline Meyer, was a strong leader. She, too, had been an educator for many years, and understood Kendra's struggle. Kendra was a vibrant teacher, and Madeline did not want to see her go. Together they discussed Kendra's struggles and established a plan for rejuvenating her. Madeline helped discover a passion for Kendra, a new "niche" in which she could grow and lead the rest of the building. As with all buildings in the area, theirs was struggling with No Child Left Behind. Assessment had suddenly become the focus of educating children. Madeline needed someone to become a testing expert and felt that if Kendra were willing, she would be a wonderful leader. Together, they researched two statewide conferences on assessment for Kendra to attend. Madeline also placed her on the district assessment committee. The opportunity for professional growth would hopefully be the key to restarting Kendra's lagging passion.

Reflections:

  1. What are some common causes of teacher burnout? Interview three teachers, and share their stories.
  2. What are some solutions to the common problem of teacher burnout?
  3. Summarize the No Child Left Behind program. What is the basic premise of the program?
  4. Why do you believe that assessment has become such a focus across our nation?

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