Susan Riley | March 2016

Episode 44: The Biggest Lie Schools Tell Teachers

Oh, I bet the title of today’s SparkChasers podcast episode has a lot of you perked up, and ready to learn more.  And it’s true – today I am going deep into debunking the biggest lie schools tell teachers.  Can you guess what it is?

Most often it sounds like this: “Family comes first” 

or like this: “You’ve got to take care of you.  The work will still be here when you get back”

or maybe even this: “Work isn’t your only priority”

While the people who are saying these things to us are well-intentioned and even believe them to be true, we all know that it’s not the reality.  Because when they say “Family comes first”, they really mean “Family comes first…so I’ll send you an email at 10PM that you can stress over before you go to sleep since I didn’t want to interrupt family time”.  

Or when they pat you on the back and say “The work will still be here when you get back”, what that translates into is “The work will still be here when you get back and you’ll need to work overtime to get caught up with the rest of us”.

This whole idea of balance and having a life outside of the classroom is nice and all, but it’s not what our lives actually look like.  We’re more stressed out, burnt out, and feeling like failures at it ALL than ever before.

Now, I don’t mean to be Debbie Downer. You can be sure that in today’s podcast, I’m sharing some tips and ideas with you for how to combat this lie and actually make the change towards having a more purposeful and passionate life – both in and out of the classroom.  Give it a listen and let me know what you think in the comments below!


Here are the links I mentioned in today’s episode:

Berkeley’s Center for Teaching and Learning Work/Life Balance

The Myth of Work and Life Balance from Jon Gordon

Overwhelmed by Bridgid Schulte

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan