It’s better to burn out than to fade away

It’s better to burn out than to fade away
~ Kurt Cobain

I’ve been gone way too long from this space.

Many things have been going on in the meantime, though.

I’ve applied for and received an entrepreneurial award from Washington STEM!

I’ve applied for an AMGEN Award for Science Teaching Excellence (wish me luck!).

I’m also working on an application for a Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century GrantĀ from State of Washington.

Yes, I’ve become a bit of a grant chaser of late. I’ve just hit a point with what I’m trying to do in my classroom and my school that I feel a need to “go for it.” To me, this means securing as many resources as I can for technology-rich project based learning so that there are no excuses any more!

I guess what it really boils down to is this: I’m at a point where I am very confident with the direction my classes need to continue to take. I’m confident in the project based learning model that I’m developing. I’m confident in the value of integrating multiple content areas. Progress is being made. Now it’s make or break time.

I’m a patient person when it comes to students. However, when it comes to improving the instructional experience that those students get, I feel like I’m constantly behind the 8-ball. A day wasted in the education of child is a day that can never be recovered.

There is something else going on here too, though. I’m putting the model and my school to the test.

If I do the very best instruction that I can with the best available resources; it had better work. If it doesn’t, either the model is broken (I think High Tech High and others have proven the model thoroughly) or my school is.

If the school is broken then it’s time for me to look elsewhere before I burn out.

When it comes to education, Kurt Cobain was wrong. It’s better to move on than to burn out and give up…

8 thoughts on “It’s better to burn out than to fade away

  1. I love the quote (originally from Neil Young, then Def Lepard) in that it says go all out, more of a “burn brightly”…i agree with you neither fading away nor burning out is for education

  2. Hi Tyler
    I thought you had fallen off the planet! Instead you have clearly been doing some serous reflection, goal setting and grant chasing, as you call it. Here’s wishing you lots of luck in all these endeavours.

  3. Hey Tyler! Congrats again on WA STEM and good luck on the other two! I feel like I’m having some similar experience to yours or at least when I read yours it reminds me of mine. Gotta keep the steady burn instead of burning out. We do no one any good by burning out. Take care of yourself, man.

  4. Ed,

    I know. I kept thinking, “gosh, I really should put something on my blog.” It just never climbed to the top of the endless to do list. Your advice about finding balance was really part of what led me to drop blogging and twitter down the list.

  5. Paul,

    It is a great quote and I should have attributed it to Neil Young but Kurt was the first one that came to mind.

  6. Hey Tyler,
    My name is Samera Johnson. I am an edm310 student at the University of South Alabama. As a class assignment I was assigned to your blog. First I wan to tsay that your blog looks great. Second congrats on your award from the Washington STEEM. As I read your blog post it reminded me of why I wanted to be a teacher/coach. It reminded of all the good and inspiring I will doing when interacting with the students. I think that comment “it is better to burn out that fade away” is very true and important because I feel by burning out your job truly meant something to you. You burn out by putting your all into something and trying your best. I think you ae a great asset to the educational system. Keep up the GREAT WORK!!

  7. Samera,

    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

    When I say it’s better to burn out than to fade away as a teacher, I am really talking about the teachers we’ve all had who are just putting in the time to retirement. They haven’t burned out enough to quit and do something else but they have faded away to the point that they might as well have quit!

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