Tech Talk Roundtable 08-04 | Zoom Burnout is Real


Can you hear me now?

I think you froze.

I can’t hear you.

Unmute yourself.

Whose dog is barking?

Please mute yourself.

Hey, do you realize we can see what you’re doing?!?


Does this sound familiar? If it doesn’t then you’ve probably been living under a rock for most of the year.  The rest of us understand the feeling all too well. Today on the podcast we’ll offer some tips, advice, and maybe a story or two as we brainstorm ways to avoid both Zoom Burnout, and the very real problem of prolonged covid stress.

Lessons Learned

Today’s Lessons Learned is Dedicated to Dennis’s father, Richard Grice (1937-2020)

Using tech to create memorable learning experiences is nothing new.  Good teachers have always used the tools they have available to go beyond the textbook.

Notes & Links

BOOK: Burnout – Secrets to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski, and Amelia Nagoski


Topic Statement: Dealing with your stress is a separate process from dealing with the things that cause your stress.  To deal with your stress you must complete the stress cycle



On top of our demanding jobs and stress from needing to educate and perform the same teacher duties (planning, curriculum, assessment, meetings, dealing with parents or difficult students) we now have a situation where we are at home with our family on lockdown, doing double duty (work & supporting our kids learning) and using technology (Zoom) to educate.


Human Giver Syndrome – You put other people’s needs before yours.  Teachers are the worst!   Almost 30% of the teachers in the US are burnt out.


Stressors are what activate the stress response in your body.

Stress is the neurological and physiological shift that happens in your body when you encounter one of these threats.


Point:  Removing these stressors will not relieve the stress on it’s own; you must have ways to deal with the stress to complete the cycle.  You must tell your body that you are ok; you must physically do something that says “the stress is gone, you have survived!”


Flight/Fight/Freeze Response

  • Fight – Words/Feelings: Anger  (You perceive that you can fight and overcome the threat)
  • Flight – Words/Feelings: Run, Avoid (You perceive that you will not be able to overcome and the best thing is run away)
  • Freeze – Words/Feelings:  Shut down. Numb. Immobilized. Disconnected. Petrified.   (Overwhelming that neither Fight or Flight is the best option) The very word sympathetic means “with emotion,” while parasympathetic—the system that controls freeze—means “beyond emotion.” You may feel disengaged from the world, sluggish, like you don’t care or nothing matters. You feel…outside.


Signs you need to deal with the stress:

  1. You notice yourself repeating the same action over and over.
  2. Overwhelming burst of pain that you can no longer contain it;  that you lash out. (Our families take the brunt)
  3. You hide or avoid your stressor until you think it’s ok to come out. (Call in sick to avoid or wait till the last moment to address something)
  4. Body out of whack – Feel sick all the time, chronic pain.  (My back tightens)


“The strategies that deal with stressors have almost no relationship to the strategies that deal with the physiological reactions our bodies have to the stressors.”pg. 34


Wellness is not a state of being, but a state of action – move fluidly through the cycles of being human.


Ways to deal with your stress:

Affection—a six-second kiss, a twenty-second hug,, helpless laughter—are social strategies that complete the cycle,

Creative self-expression— writing, drawing, singing, whatever gives you a safe place to move through the emotional cycle of stress.


The Monitor

Tracks your ‘effort to progress ratio’ and has a strong opinion about what the ratio should be.

  • Little effort = lots of progress – Happy Monitor
  • Significant effort = little progress – Ragey Monitor
  • Significant effort/commitment = No Progress – Helplessness and Resignation


Ways to deal with stressors:

  • Planful Reappraisal – Go to plan B, C, D, etc
  • Positive Reappraisal – Remind yourself that what you are doing is “worth it!”
  • Redefine Winning – Move the goal posts or change the monitor’s expectations.
    • Change mindset expectations – Zoom is difficult way of teaching (mindset). You can’t rely on the same ‘teacher feel’ of guaging the room or ability to walk around to get student feedback.
    • Redefine winning – Goal is to make someone smile or ask a good question on Zoom.  Do an exit survey to track some specific behavior
    • Redefine failing – Dirk Gently: “I rarely end up where I was intending to go, but often I end up somewhere that I need to be.”  (Zoom – that failed so bad that I learned this about my lesson)


When attainable switches to unattainable:


Benefits of Continuing Benefits of Stopping Costs of Continuing Costs of Stopping


Ending Notes:


Don’t ‘Search For’ Meaning…..You ‘Make’ Meaning

  • Ambition – pursuit of achievement
  • Service to the divine – ‘Glorifying God’
  • Loving others with authenticity and kindness

About miles.mei

Technology Multimedia Specialist

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