When you think of someone who is burned out, it conjures up images of someone who is “phoning it in” -- disengaged, uninterested, and hating their work. That’s not what burnout often looks like for school psychologists and others in the helping professions. When school psychologists get burned out, they still love their job and their students, but they may feel trapped in a role that only scratches the surface of what they can do to help kids.
Do you love your students but find yourself not loving parts of your job as a school psychologist? One thing I’ve learned over the last 20 years and in my research for my latest book is that school psychologists often fall into burnout traps and they don’t even notice it!
On #blackouttuesday, I went silent on social media and posted a black square on all my channels. I wanted to amplify Black voices and show solidarity. I listened. I learned. And I reflected on my role in anti-racism as a mom, a school psychologist, and an online voice for school psychologists. A few days later, my town had a Black Lives Matter protest and I was inspired by the turnout and strong voices for change.
I get quite a few emails from prospective school psychologists, asking me what the career is really like. Perhaps they’ve read a review of our illustrious profession on a job site and got scared off – kind of like when you read one bad Yelp review of a place and write it off. Maybe they’ve heard it’s a job that is all testing, or just that it’s really stressful.