Please fill out the form below if you would like to post a comment on this article:
01/11/2020 - Andreas
Well said! Yes! This is the line I always preach to my superiors and it all too frequently seems to fall on deaf ears! As a bottom-of-the-rung Administrator slowly climbing the Leadership Ladder myself, I am glad to read that there are actually Educational Leaders in high level positions who really do genuinely take the time to think about these kinds of things - getting to know someone and where they are coming from before judging them from a timeline of events you glanced at about them on a piece of paper. No matter how dedicated we are to our students, our classrooms, our profession as educators, we are still human beings for crying out loud! We still have lives, wants, needs, and human desires that exist - believe it or not - outside of school, away from work, just like any normal, red-blooded human being does! Amen to that! Thanks for writing this inspiring piece.
01/11/2020 - Iagree
Dear Ms. Dhlamini-Fisher,
Thank you for writing this article. For me, it could not have come at a better time. I taught for 15 years and loved it. I worked hard and committed myself to being the best learner and leader and person i could for my students. The flip side of this dedication and effort was that--combined with other personal factors--I burned out. To the point of serious illness. I took two years off and used some of that time to travel, paint, rest, and deepen my spiritual practice. However, now I am looking for a teaching job again and I fear that my impressive (I mean, it is pretty impressive) resume and my dedication to teaching will not be enough. That "weird" gap in my career. I worry recruiters won't understand. They will look down on it. But, sadly, I dare not tell anyone about my illness post-burnout. That and the hiatus seem like clanging alarm bells when I think about it. It is helpful to know others have been in this position. And that some, like you, are not "ashamed" of doing what you needed to do to take care of yourself, your family, etc. Thanks for sharing.
01/05/2020 - Mon
This was one of the most inspiring and insightful articles I have read. I felt understood!
01/04/2020 - Tamara
Thank you for your thoughtful reflection. I am currently taking a sabbatical for family reasons and have repeatedly wondered how I am hurting my future. I am not an administrator but I believe it is the same for teachers - more often than not, in the recruitment process, people with anomalies and gaps get immediately put to the side. Rather than seeing the gap as a potential strength, it is viewed as a weakness.
01/04/2020 - Thea
You have articulated so well my thoughts (and fears) in this article. As an international school middle leader taking a sabbatical to start a business, I am already nervous about how to justify my decision-making to heads of school despite having gained so much from this new experience. In addition, I recognise my responsibility in making judgements on my colleagues when I write their references too. Thank you for your excellent thought leadership.
01/03/2020 - Patolonsa
I am so moved and impressed with your thoughtfulness and empathy. I would very much like to contact you.