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Compassion fatigue, Educator burnout, Causes of burnout, Teacher burnout, Teacher stress leave, Compassion stress, Compassion injury

The Day I Reached My Tipping Point...
Compassion Fatigue and Educators
by Daryl B Sutter

The target audience is education. The age range spans from new teachers in their twenties to veteran teachers. Teachers are found in every geographical region of the world. What they don’t realize, is that through policies, procedures, technology upgrades, parental and administrative as well as government expectations, their psychological well-being is slowly being depleted. The erosion of their compassion and empathy over time leads to anxiety, stress, depression, and burnout which are the themes of this book This depletion can result in qualified, skilled individuals leaving the profession early; others, to seek different career opportunities, or stay in the system just “going with the flow”; potentially eroding their personal values, belief system and principles. The key outcomes from this book are three-fold: first, an understanding of what compassion fatigue (CF) or Occupational Stress Injury (OSI) is and how it can impact an educator. Second, that the causes are identifiable, and that steps can be taken to ward it off. And, finally, for the reader to understand that there is hope and recovery. The main objective of the book is to make educators aware of CF and OSI. CF and OSI in educators can be a slow gradual process where teachers may not even realize the effects until something uncharacteristic occurs because he/she has “just snapped”. Upon recognizing CF/OSI in their life and/or career, readers are encouraged to contact the author at the supplied email address ( to share anonymous events, stories and/or occurrences of how, when and why CF/OSI impacted their professional and personal life. These would then be used to. supplement another book, “Tales from the trenches”. The book is a supplement of my counselling, therapist and educational consulting business; Sutter and Associates.

Individuals enter into helping professions like education with a desire to assist people with their lives. Individuals enter into these professions full of empathy. But, over time, empathy begins to drain, resulting in compassion fatigue and burnout. The purpose of this book was to research and examine how and why Compassion Stress Injury (CSI) affected people.

It is not surprising that Compassion Fatigue in educators became an area of thorough research for Daryl Sutter, retired professional teacher. His personal undertaking to re-establish self-efficacy after a debilitating, job-related, emotional and traumatic occurrence is truly inspiring. Needing to understand this painful erosion of empathy, factors causing and manifesting of Compassion Fatigue are clearly explained in Daryl’s review of the research. M. Newman B. A., B. Ed.

Daryl’s work reminds me of the essence of teaching. We offer up a lot of energy when we attend to nurturing the well-being of others. The research he cites resonates with me and gives me the incentive to do further study. Each section seems to set me exploring. Whether you have been teaching thirty years or three years make the time to reflect on Compassion Fatigue. G. Lacoste B. Ed.

Daryl B Sutter photo

I am a retired educator of 30 years. I have been involved with numerous changes in the education system. Throughout those years, I have seen changes in class size and dynamics; to curriculum re-writes and assessment practices. I have seen changes in administration at all levels and witnessed how they have impacted the system. I began to experience Compassion Fatigue (CF) or Occupational Stress Injury (OSI), but did not fully realize it until “something snapped”. I feel that there is a need for discussion in the market regarding CF/OSI, specifically when training teachers for what can or could happen to them. And, for those in the system, to understand that there are ways to cope and survive.

Daryl lives in a rural southwestern Alberta community, where the foothills met the prairies, with his spouse of 30 plus years, JoAnna. They have three grown adult children. They are entertained by two cats, Nalli and Kalli, and their dog Max. Throughout the years, they have brought the world to them by hosting more than 20 foreign exchange students, who attended the local high school. He is a life-long learner, having just completed his second Master’s program. He began his educational journey in Souris, MB attending the Souris Collegiate High School. After a short stint in the oil patch, he began his scholarly training at Brandon University (BU) in Brandon Manitoba, earning a Bachelor of Arts with a major in history and minors in political science and geography. At BU he met JoAnna. They moved to Calgary, Alberta, where after a time in retail, he took the initiative, to obtain his Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Calgary, becoming an elementary generalist. After graduation, he taught as a substitute with the Calgary Board of Education, and Foothills School Division until he landed a full-time teaching assignment with the Willow Creek School Division, now known as Livingstone Range School Division (LRSD). His love of learn- ing was re-ignited seven years later when he enrolled in a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership through San Diego State University. He continued teaching with LRSD at various postings within the division. He successfully completed his second Masters of Counseling degree with City University of Seattle, with four years left until his 85-factor. He now spends his time building his clinical practice in Claresholm and Calgary, Alberta. He specializes in stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma.


Daryl B Sutter

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