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Welcome fellow Recovering Traditionalists to Episode 158: Virtual Math Summit Preview: Preventing Teacher Burnout.

Before we get into the episode, this week’s positivity comes from Facebook comments again.  I’ve been really loving seeing these positive comments about the Virtual Math Summit.  

Sue, you are very welcome.  The summit is one of my favorite things to do because we have tens of thousands of educators participating and it’s such an honor to be a part of their math journey by sharing ideas that impact their teaching.  The sessions are being released on February 24 & 25 and if you are there when the session gets released and engaging in the chat, we have giveaways happening in each session…but if you can’t be there you do have 10 days to watch the sessions whenever you have time.

The Virtual Math Summit is next weekend.  If you haven’t registered yet, get over to are 3 levels of registration.  Free registration gives you 10 days to watch this year’s sessions. We also have a VIP access for the summit which gives you access to this year’s sessions through the end of March.  Or if you’d like to access the past 7 years of summits along with this year’s, you can become a member of the Build Math Minds PD site.  Information about all 3 options is available at 

This week’s episode is our 6th preview of some of the sessions from the upcoming 2024 Virtual Math Summit.  In this episode I’m sharing a clip from the pre-summit session by Rosalba Serrano.  I already shared a clip from Rosalba’s actual session on Math Routines but Rosalba is also doing a special session about Preventing Teacher Burnout.

This session has already been released and is available for participants of the summit to watch now. If you are already registered for the summit, you should have gotten an email with the link to watch.  If not, email us at  If you aren’t registered, go do it and I’ll send the link right away.

Rosalba has lots to share in her session but one of the reasons I picked this clip is because she talks about something my husband talks a lot about in our house and with the athletes he coaches.  One of his favorite sayings is “Control the Controllables.”  In life there are so many things out of our control, yet we try to control them or we just fret and worry about them, yet doing that just makes life miserable because all that time trying and/or worrying about it does nothing.

My husband is a high school baseball coach and one of the things he sees his players often get upset about is the umps.  So he continually reminds his players that they have no control over the umpires.  Trying to argue with them is futile and will honestly just make the umps mad plus it makes you look like a poor sport.  So, when a player is mad that the ump called a pitch a strike and it was a 3rd strike, his response to them is often “Don’t get yourself into that situation where you put the control in the umpire’s hand.  If you want control, take control earlier on in the pitch count.  You shouldn’t be in a spot where you have two strikes on you…and if you are, then if it’s close you at least have to foul it off.  You can’t just watch the pitch go by and put it in the hands of the ump. You have to control the controllables.”  After you listen to this clip from Rosalba, I’d like you to think about how much stress you have in your life that is due to you trying to control the uncontrollables and then I want you to focus on only controlling the controllables.  Here’s Rosalba.

“…to the next strategy here, which is Support. We know this, often times we close our doors and do our own thing when it comes to our classroom, right? And we stress ourselves out! Schools are supposed to be about Community, yet we build silos. Right!? It’s time for an overhaul of that. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and to get support, and let me just say this support doesn’t mean gather your coworkers around and complain about all the issues that are going on. That’s not support, that’s called venting, okay? And while venting may seem like it’s healthy because you’re blowing off steam, it’s actually keeping you on a lower vibrational level, right? It’s just like gossiping. Like the gossiping that sometimes happens in the teacher’s lounge, same thing, lower vibrational level.  It’s not healthy. I’m not saying you can’t complain about a thing that’s happening within your school that’s bugging you, it’s just when we’re in a constant state of complaint okay, that’s when we’re just on a lower vibe. So when I say get support, I mean the healthy kind. Not a bunch of you gabbing together and venting. I mean build a team, right? Get support in the sense of building a team around you where you pull each other up, where you build each other up. It’s that whole thing of it takes a village, right? So you need to create one and it may not be a village that’s within your school. I’ve seen this happen, some schools are so toxic that there’s not even people in there where you can create a village. Well then, seek out a community outside of your school.  Maybe it’s some members of Build Math Minds, maybe it’s some members in here that you can collaborate with, you know virtually, and that becomes your village and that’s your support system, okay. So again, it may have to be a remote Village. Either way just build a village of support ,not of venting, of support. Now that was a lot and there’s actually more strategies that I can be providing you, but I’m not trying to be the one that presents on stress & burnout and then gives you so much information that it stresses and burns you out. So I just wanted to give you a few to get you started. Now here are a couple final thoughts though. If you are going to try any of these anti-burnout strategies, please just do one thing at a time, okay. Maybe it’s that you take an actual lunch break or that you start working on your sleep, right? If you try to do it all, and you’re teachers so you love to do it all, you’ll burn out, ironically. So I want you to be gentle with yourself and just take on one thing at a time and of course I’m here to support. Second, I want you to constantly self-assess. We don’t realize we’re in Burnout until we’re actually burnt out. So check in with yourself along the way. Where is your battery at? How did it get there? Okay. The education system is going to continue to be a dumpster fire, okay, remember that. But also remember to focus on the things that you can control and you taking care of yourself is something that you can control. And lastly one of the most important things I do with my clients is to help them see how one area of their life affects other areas, right? Going back to this Wheel of Life. When work consumes us, we lose time with our people. We don’t make time for fun, our health goes to crap, things bleed into other things, right. Mental health is always going to be more important than your career will ever be. I learned that the hard way.  There’s this saying that goes around, like you won’t be remembered for your salary, or how busy you were, or how many hours you worked, your material possessions, but you’ll be remembered for how you made others feel. Live in THAT emotion. And as an unconventional life coach, my motto has always been: I want to help you create a life you love. So I want you to think about, do you love yours? Ask yourself that really. Is there an area of your life right now that you wish could improve? Listen, we only got one shot at this life. I say this all the time, if it’s surrounded by grading papers and lesson plans and cutting those little pumpkins out, then we’re doing something wrong. Life is going to go by and we’ll have the regret of ‘I made work my life and I didn’t actually get to live my life’….”

Again, get registered for the summit and then check your email for the link to watch Rosalba’s full session on Preventing Teacher Burnout. shares some interesting information and tips to help you.

Until next week my Fellow Recovering Traditionalists, keep Building Math Minds.

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As you start off the school year, I want you to keep in mind what is really important as we're trying to teach mathematics to our students.