The Danger of Never Being “Done”


One of the significant stressors of being an educator is that we never get to be “done.” There is always something more we can do. When was the last time you heard an educator say, “That’s it. Finished! There isn’t one more thing I can do to prepare for class or for my students so I’m officially turning school OFF!”

Just the thought of it draws laughs when I say it in a workshop. Teachers can immediately sense the ridiculousness of the scenario and know it has nothing to do with our current reality. We never get the luxury of feeling done.

This feeling of incompleteness and the drive to constantly do more is actually also one of the appealing aspects of the profession to many of us. We love to strive for more…we love that adrenaline rush of coming up with a new idea and then pushing ourselves from inspiration to implementation.

But…this is also a dangerous situation. It leads to a lack of balance and that perpetual gnawing feeling of having a thirst that can’t quite be quenched or a hunger that can’t be satisfied.

We feel guilty about the time we spend either relaxing or honoring our outside passions and hobbies. We fail to embrace new opportunities for growth and fulfillment because, “I can’t even get THIS stuff done right now.”

We let a multitude of beautiful and joyous moments pass us right by because we are so caught up in the rat race. We let the power of the teachable moment pass by in our classes in the pursuit of covering more and more mandated and mundane curriculum.

We lose the impact of the relationships and rapport that can be fostered by being TRULY present in all of our daily interactions with students, staff, family…well, humans. We stress out over what doesn’t go perfectly…and forget that it NEVER will.

We feel boxed in by all of the “stuff” that clutters our life…and our desk. Our classroom cupboards, bookshelves, and office space look like a “before” shot of the teacher edition of Hoarders.

We let the stress and constant need to rush negatively impact our health. We let the emotional baggage build up inside until it impacts even our personal relationships.

Educators are so amazing at taking caring care of others.

Bottom line…we rarely do enough to take care of ourselves.

We can only be at our most powerful, life changing, and mightiest as educators when we realize we have to engage in some radical self-care.

That‘s why I’m passionate about sharing a project with you that we have kept under wraps for almost a year while it was under development. It is finally done and it is just what the doctor ordered for educators in today’s crazy world.

It’s my honor to announce the release of The Zen Teacher: Creating Focus, Simplicity, and Tranquility in the Classroom, by Dan Tricarico, an English teacher in San Diego for thirty plus years.

Simply put, you are going to love this book. It will make you feel better, it will make you live better, and it will put you in the frame of mind to teach better, as well. Honestly, it was a book I needed to read, myself.

This isn’t a book about religion; it’s a book about being more fully alive. The Zen Teacher
is a departure from the types of books we usually release at Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. and I hope you’ll trust us that we find only the best and most powerful messages to bring to you. By the way, the book also happens to be amazingly beautiful! Wow! It has a cover, a feel, and a design that is a perfect match for the message. I can’t wait for you to hold in your hands…you’ll feel more peaceful already!!
This is our first book that may not directly change your pedagogy…but it may just change your life. Let us know what you think!!

Thank you,



Blog Post by:
Dave Burgess
Best Selling Author, Teach Like A Pirate
Teacher, West Hills High School
San Diego, CA
Twitter: @burgessdave

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