Teachers that work too hard are the ones that burn out...
"Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference." Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you."
I have just picked up the concluding sentences to put forth my views on the essential question. (The link is provided below for reading the story*). To begin with, this was the story I heard from a motivational speaker, who was addressing a group of teachers at a large gathering. Although some say, it is not a true story, it touched my core, how a teacher ought not to be-judge by external appearances of the student!
Teachers that work too hard are the ones that burn out" - Let us examine this a little. Work, in dictionary parlance is -activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result, mental or physical activity as a means of earning income; employment. Any one who enters the teaching profession for 'employment' (as stepping stone to other jobs) is definitely the one who would suffer a burn out within a short period; on the other hand, for one who engages in it as a meaningful pursuit (to achieve a larger goal of igniting young minds positively) would only burn brighter.
Talking about this at a personal level, having taught for over fifteen years at elementary school (currently, I am an IELTS and Communicative English Language Trainer for adult learners), I've never wanted to run off from this profession, even though I've been mocked at by people for not making good money, remaining stagnant and over worked. As a matter of fact, there is greater joy in giving back to Society as a teacher, more than as a mother, wife, daughter, daugher in law..... Yes, monetarily, I've no bank balance stashed, yet, the goodwill earned through the several students - 'My Teacher' makes up for all that.
Having said this, it's not that one can be doing lesson plans, evaluating answer scripts and preparing exercises 24x7, a moderate approach to the profession (aka work-life balance!) will relieve the monotony of the profession. Through networking (online forums), the same topic can be approached in a new light, taking tips from the interactive sessions. Limiting oneself to "I've taught this for several years" and the people around often brings in a sense of disillusionment. Contrarily, a new approach to the same topics would be a whiff of perfume in the class that the teacher and the taught would enjoy.
I would like to conclude with this favorite quote-"The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness." Kahlil Gibran
* The Link