L’épuisement professionnel des formateurs universitaires : un tabou?

Le plus récent Faculty Focus traite de l’épuisement professionnel chez les formateurs universitaires.  Ce qui m’a intéressé, c’est qu’on aborde le problème comme une fatigue émotionnelle plus que physique.  Et il m’est apparu que l’on parle assez peu des exigences émotionnelles du métier d’enseignant dans nos cercles intellectuels:

« Emotional exhaustion isn’t something that jives with the objective, rational academic culture where the focus is on teaching powered by the intellect—how well we have mastered the material. In reality, teaching most of today’s college students requires a great deal of emotional energy. We need to genuinely care about and connect with students, especially those who don’t write well, can’t calculate and seem unable to think critically. We need to believe that students can learn and that our teaching promotes their acquisition of knowledge and development of skills. »

On y présente certains symptômes…

« Are you too tired to make changes? Are you teaching courses the same way because doing things differently seems like too much work? How long has it been since you tried some new instructional strategy? Since you changed books? Since you taught a course you haven’t taught previously? Since you had lunch with a group of students? »

…et on suggères quelques solutions.  Tout en admettant qu’il y a des paramètres hors du contrôle du formateur (ex: le besoin d’enseigner pour subvenir à ses besoins, quels étudiants sont admis, etc.), ce dernier a du pouvoir sur d’autres aspects de sa vie professionnelle qui influent sur sa « santé émotionnelle »:

« Like physical health and well-being, others can’t take the actions that will make and keep us instructionally healthy. It’s something we do for ourselves and it may involve making behavior changes. Some of us need to learn how to say no. All of us need to know what keeps us fresh, what sustains and strengthens our commitments to teaching and to students. All of us need to recognize the importance of emotional rejuvenation and make emotional sustenance a priority. »

Source : Weimer, Maryellen, « When Teaching Grows Tired: A Wake-up Call for Faculty », Faculty Focus, 3 octobre 2012.

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