Real Talk On Burnout

Geoffrey Canada, founder of Harlem Children’s Zone
Image by Maggie Leazer / Photo courtesy of Harlem Children’s Zone
Geoffrey Canada, founder of Harlem Children’s Zone
Image by Maggie Leazer / Photo courtesy of Harlem Children’s Zone

Real Talk On Burnout

Educating is hard work. And for the people who work for Geoffrey Canada, the man who created one of the most ambitious education models in existence — one that leaves no students behind no matter their circumstances — burnout is real.

“It sounds glib when I say this work is not for everybody, but it’s not for everybody for their entire life,” Canada says on Art of Power.

“When you’ve served well and it’s time for you to move on, I want to give you nothing for respect and love, because you did what you could do for as long as you could do it.”

In this episode, Canada explains his views on burnout.

He also explains his crazy idea that was eventually adopted by the federal government: If you want to help kids in poor communities, you have to invest in both the kids and the communities. He tells Art of Power host Aarti Shahani about how he grew up in poverty, broke out with the help of a good education, witnessed the lives of the well-to-do, and then came back home to build a school system in Harlem that at one point earned 100% of his students college acceptance letters.

This episode was originally published on April 29.