Monica Monfre Scantlebury: Teacher Burnout & Pivoting from Teaching with a Side Hustle
Monica Monfre Scantlebury is a certified life coach, health coach, and yoga instructor, but she did not start that way. Monica spent 8 years working as a teacher at the university level and then another 15 working as a highschool teacher. Even though she loved being a teacher, by year 7 educator burnout was having significant effects on her health and wellbeing. She decided to walk away from teaching and turn her side hustle of being a yoga instructor into a full-time job. Today, Monica discusses teacher burnout and how she used her side hustle as a way to pivot from teaching.
Teachers encourage students to take proper care of themselves and to follow their dreams, but they are not allowed to actually model what they teach. Neither teachers nor students can go to the bathroom or eat when they need to, and teachers are penalized for taking sick days. Monica received her first ever low evaluation score her final year of teaching, not because she was doing anything wrong, but because she had dared to use 9 out of her 10 sick days to have a hysterectomy after discovering cancer cells in her fallopian tubes. With teachers not being given the ability to take care of themselves, it is only natural that educator burnout would occur at extremely high rates. Although Monica was nervous to pursue her side hustle full-time, she is now making more money and experiencing a much more manageable level of stress.
Sometimes teachers worry that all they can do is teach, but being a teacher requires a slew of skills that can translate over to other professions. Teachers spend all day marketing ideas to their students, trying to persuade them to do what they want, and they also have a lot of experience as speakers. It is easy to feel stuck after being in the same profession for a long time, but there are always opportunities to pivot.
“I walked away from a $106,000 salary in New York City, because I was burned out.” (7:34-7:40 | Monica)
“80% of teachers are women. The time off that it takes us to recover whether you're having a child or you're having a health condition, I don't think that people do it from a place of, ‘I'm out to get you,’ but 10 days off is not enough.” (8:24-8:42 | Monica)
“We can't say that we want our teachers to be well and that we want them to practice social-emotional learning with their students when in fact our teachers are unwell.” (9:05-9:16 | Monica)
“A lot of teachers don't take their time off because it goes against our evaluation, and it costs more work to actually prepare to be out of the classroom, which leads to more burnout.” (15:25-15:37 | Monica)
“If you tell your students that they can chase their dreams and do the things and take care of themselves, then we have to model that.” (21:57-22:03 | Monica)
“People say if you can't do something you teach, and I would tell you that we teach, because we can do all the things.” (33:54-34:00 | Monica)
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If you know that it’s time to actually DO something about the burnout cycle you’ve been in for too long - book your free consult today: bit.ly/callcait