This past summer the Strumbellas came to play to a sold out crowd in St. Louis. As I watched them play my mind drifted to how often they must play each of these songs. Once the band leaves St. Louis they were headed somewhere east to do it all over again. That pace goes on for months. How do they keep it fresh every time? Each city, each person in the crowd expects to see a show full of energy and excitement.
Piles of money and the love of what you do can only carry you so far, how do they prevent burnout?
My thoughts eventually drifted to myself and the teachers around me. I know we can all look either in the mirror or into the eyes of the people we work with and see those telltale signs of burnout.
These ideas bring me to today. I read something, or maybe it was a video, that talked about the career plateau. It stated that within the first five years teachers stop growing, they get good at delivering the content and stop improving. While I am not sure that is totally accurate I can see how initiative fatigue can really drag people down.
There are a few teacher who come to mind that seem to buck that trend. I wonder if it is because they will try new things often in the classroom. They will publicly share what they are doing, what went well and when it is a total disaster.
I wonder if that is the key to helping curb burnout. Try new things. Take risks. I assume what the musicians do is play off the audience, use their energy to power them through the set. I know that when I work with a group of energetic teachers you can help but feed off of that.
I don’t know if the novelty of new things will help but it appears to be a step in the right direction.