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Is there a vampire teacher in your school? These energy draining people are everywhere even our schools. Discover how to recognize and work with your energy vampire. 

It is Tuesday morning and my alarm just went off. Yesterday was just awful. The student who is typically having a rough day had another rough day. School lore says he has never had a good day, not even the first day of school. He has been on my mind all night, today has to be different. There has to be someway to reach him.
I get dressed and follow my morning routine. I arrive at school with a smile plastered on my face ready to take on the day. If I can stay positive, I can do this. We can both have a great day. I take the next right to head down my hallway and run straight into Gertrude. UGH!
I try to smile, wave,  and escape but she traps me. She starts telling me how sorry she is about giving me her nightmare student and goes on to tell me how much worse today will be. She lists all of his faults, the faults of his parents, the administration, and how someone really needs to do something so us teachers can finally get some peace.

I find myself nodding my head in agreement. I feel my optimism slowly draining away and then I hear myself agreeing with her. I find myself joining in on the complaint. After a few minutes, I walk down to my room angry that I have to deal with him again.

When I unlock my door and step inside, I begin to question where my resolution of “today will be different” and the optimism I started off with went. Then it hit me… I had just talked to THE VAMPIRE TEACHER!

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What is a Vampire Teacher?

A Vampire Teacher is an Energy Vampire who works as a teacher.

These are the people who suck the joy, fun, and life out of everything. Their passion for teaching is dying or non-existent. They have no hope and little drive. They are very sour and breed negativity. They are highly contagious!

What is a Energy Vampire?

I first learned about Energy Vampires way back when I was a project manager in 2010. I read a book called Energy Bus but never paid much attention to it.
UPDATE: I re-read this book after writing this post.  I should have paid attention sooner. I have added this as one of our summer 2019 PD options. There is also The Energy Bus for Kids that I have added to my must read list.
Fast forward several years and it came up again when I was dealing with my now ex-husband’s mental health crisis. My psychiatrist called him an Energy Vampire and taught me how to recognize and deal with these people. I began seeing them everywhere and quickly learned there are even Vampire Teachers.

And I was becoming one of them! This had to stop but I am getting ahead of myself.

Energy Vampire

.01   A person who boosts his own energy by taking energy from others by means of an argument, belittlement, criticism or other one-sided conversation.

.02  Someone who steals or tries to bring down your positive energy.

Urban Dictionary

Urban Dictionary sums up the definition of an Energy Vampire pretty well. To put it into my own words: Energy Vampires  are the leeches in our life who take away our joy and energy and inject us with lifelessness.

It seems 2018 is the year to talk about Energy Vampires. You can find articles about Energy Vampires written by Oprah, NBC News, Forbes, and so many more.

These Vampires can be found anywhere! In our schools (colleagues), our classrooms (students), at home (our spouses or children), at church (our pastors (I hope not!) or fellow parishioners), and the places we shop (employees and fellow shoppers). Seriously, the can be found anywhere IF you know how to spot them.

What do they look like?

Normal people. They usually do not smile or it is a fake smile. They are the ones who typically have nothing nice to say.

What do I do if I come into contact?

Your first goal is to avoid contact. Negativity breeds negativity. If one person starts to complain, it is contagious and soon everyone will complain. Have you ever heard the old saying “stress kills?” Well, the start of stress is always something negative. If we can avoid the negative, we can lower our stress.

Teachers always need less stress.

If you cannot avoid them, you need to take charge of the conversation. Smile and offer a bright hello followed quickly by a positive statement or question. Don’t let them start the conversation. Stay positive. Try to make them laugh. Most importantly, escape as quickly as possible!

Turning into a Vampire Teacher

Back to my story… Several years ago I got a teaching job in a teeny tiny school. What is a teeny tiny school? Seven full time teachers and 3 part time specials teachers for grades PK-5.

I thought I was just having a hard time fitting in as I was an “outsider.” I tried everything I could to fit in and then one day I realized I was surrounded by Vampire Teachers. An entire school of them! The negativity in this place was on fire and I was slowly becoming one of them.

Every night I came home and complained. My sons are not shy. They called a family meeting and told me I had a bad attitude. I told them they had a bad attitude for daring to tell me I had one. You can see where this is going.

My husband kicked the boys out of the room and just looked at me. He just sat and waited. He has the calm quiet look that we all knows means we did something and he is just going to stare quietly at us until we figure it out. And then I cried. A lot.

I had to apologize to everyone for starting to turn into a Vampire and then I had to begin to change my ways.

The Vampire Teacher Test

I have created a simple test for discovering if you or your colleague is a Vampire Teacher based upon my own experiences and research into this topic. It is FREE… just sign up for my email below.
What if you want to text someone other than a teacher? This test will work for that as well. I tried it out on oldest son. I knew he would be in the “DANGER ZONE” and he is quite happy there. I am pretty sure Marines are not allowed to go around spreading joy and light wherever they go. So use your best judgement.

Help for Recovering Vampires

I scored a 12 on the test when I was working at that teeny tiny school. I was standing on the cliff waiting for my Vampire wings to sprout so I could take off and spread my negativity. My sons’ bravery of confronting a potential Vampire brought me back from the brink.

I have survived and now live to tell the tale of how not to be a Vampire Teacher! The Path of Passionate Teaching is a collection of my tips, tricks, and resources for avoiding the overwhelm. It is the way to avoid burnout and to ensure that you are able to spread the joy of teaching.

Step 1: Focus on Joy. Do one thing that makes you happy each day.

Step 2: Find 1 thing to be thankful for each day. Even on the worst of days… something had to gone write somewhere. Even if it was that the Expo didn’t run out of ink during your lesson.

Step 3: Do something relaxing. Take a few deep breaths. Try it for 30 seconds and then as you can handle that… build your stamina and do more.

Stressed Teachers become Vampire teachers. There is a way to work less and live more even as a teacher.

I now average 45 hours a week teaching. I get it all done, my students are happy, and I am happy. Join our newsletter to begin paving your Path to Passionate Teaching!