“Your inbox is an overflowing bucket of urgent requests. You are consistently asked to do more with less. Your mind is constantly reshuffling priorities, perpetually calculating the number of minutes left in the day…We’re all feeling a littlefried at work and home. But there are ways to stay sharp and recharge.” Catherine Zuckerman, April 30, 2021, The New York Times
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: How to Beat Burnout — Without Quitting Your Job, By Catherine Zuckerman, April 30, 2021
“Raise your hand if you’re completely burned out…You’re not alone. The pandemic has left many people fried from trying to juggle work, parenting, caregiving and other responsibilities without enough support.
Though not a medical diagnosis, burnout — specifically job burnout — is linked to a range of health problems, from irritability to cardiovascular disease. In 2019, burnout was officially recognized as a work-related phenomenon by the World Health Organization…Some, especially younger, workers are simply quitting. But for those who can’t or don’t want to quit, there are ways to beat burnout.
Kira Schabram is an assistant professor of management in the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, where she studies how to mitigate burnout in employees. Past research has focused on finding ways to help employers reduce burnout among staff, she said, but hers focuses on what people can do for themselves… Dr. Schabram’s research suggests that small, deliberate acts of compassion toward yourself and others can help reduce feelings of burnout, whether it is short-term or chronic…According to Dr. Schabram, burnout rates tend to be higher in people who view their work as a calling, and ‘not just a paycheck.’ Like teachers…No matter what your burnout feels like, it’s important to get help. Workplace cultures vary, butemployers are legally bound to offer some form of protection for people who might be suffering from burnout, said Steven Azizi, an employment lawyer based in Los Angeles who specializes in representing workers in claims against their employers.”
Celebrating Gay Pride Month!
Lesbians in Ballet: ‘Has Anyone Like Me Ever Walked These Halls?’ By Siobhan Burke, The New York Times, June 1, 2021
‘I want a Juliet and Juliet’
“Ballet’s strict gender norms put pressure on women to conform. But dancers who don’t are finding they’re not alone.” S. Burke, The New York Times, June 1, 2021
NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.
Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: Approximately 60 minutes.
Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.
Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.
Pre-Reading: Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos
Directions: Examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. Examine any photos, then create a list of words and ideas that you and your group members think might be related to this article.
II. While Reading Activities
Directions: Try to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. You use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.
- Job burnout is very common among office workers.
- Though not a medical diagnosis, burnout is linked to a range of health problems.
- We’re all feeling a little fried at work and home.
- Burnout was officially recognized as a work-related phenomenon.
- Christina Maslach is an emerita psychology professor.
- Job burnout includes feelings of exhaustion and inefficacy.
- Burnout is rampant today.
- Some employees fear that they may be targeted if they complain.
- Dr. Schabram’s research suggests that small, deliberate acts of compassion toward yourself and others can help.
- Burnout rates tend to be higher in people who view their work as a calling.
Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage
Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical error. Identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.
- Raise you’re hand if you’re completely burned out.
- Your mind is constantly reshuffling priorities.
- You’re not alone.
- job burnout are linked to a range of health problems.
- Writing in a journal helps recharge the mind.
- Dr. Parangi realized she needed to do things that recharged her.
- No matter what your burnout feels like, it’s important to get help.
- Letting others know your not OK is also key.
- In some places, if you’re not 150 percent, you’re seen as weak or defective.
Reading Comprehension: Identify The Speakers
Directions: Read the following quotes from the speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.
- “Burnout, is rampant today, partly because many workers feel they can’t say ‘no’ to their employers without being targeted, demoted or punished in some way.”
- “For a long time, the assumption was that when you reach burnout, others need to pull you out of it…employers are ultimately responsible for conditions that drive burnout, but…employees who cannot leave and are not getting support can still help themselves.”
- “It’s overwhelming…It’s a lot of layers of trauma without very many resources.”
- “I literally couldn’t move out of my chair. It took every last bit of energy for me to change out of my scrubs.”
- “No matter what your burnout feels like, it’s important to get help.Workplace cultures vary, but employers are legally bound to offer some form of protection for people who might be suffering from burnout.”
III. Post Reading Activities
Graphic Organizers: Finding The Main Idea
Directions: Have students use this advanced organizer from Write Design to assist them with discussing or writing about the main idea and points from the article.
Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing
Directions: Have students discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards, students share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.
- Do you feel as if you’re completely burned out these days? Where do you feel the most stressed, at home, school, work or all three?
- What are some health issues related to burnout?
- Which organization declared burnout as work-related?
- Aside from exhaustion, what are some other feelings that define burnout?
- According to the article, why are some over-worked employees afraid to say “no” to employers?
- Discuss some of the ways to beat burnout. Can you think of other means to beat burnout that the article doesn’t mention?
- Why is it important to share your feelings with colleagues in the workplace?
- This article primarily discusses burnout among office workers.Recently, there was an article in the news about tennis champ Naomi Osaka who “mentioned a need to preserve her mental health” during matches, which is why she declined to meet with the news media in between tennis matches. Do you think there is burnout among professional athletes? What about students? Singers? Ballet dancers? What other professions or situations can you think of that might cause a person to burnout?
- Discuss three new ideas that you’ve learned about the topic from the reading, two things that you did not understand in the reading, and one thing you would like to know that the article did not mention.
- Choose one profession in which you’re interested and write about the ways burnout can be avoided in that particular occupation.