Teacher burnout is no joke. When you’re exhausted, it can feel overwhelming to even consider getting yourself back on track. Where do you even start?

I know. I’ve been there. This book flows, in large part, from my own struggles with health and balance. After several years in the classroom, I was getting more rundown not less. Refusing to be one of those teachers who starts longing for retirement (with waaay too many years to go), I embarked on a personal journey to learn to better balance my life and stay fired up as an educator. I wrote The Well-Balanced Teacher to share what I had learned with others.

Since the publication of that book, in 2010, I’ve learned so much more. I’ve worked with thousands of teachers and have continued to explore new ideas for staying professionally engaged, especially during challenging times such as this one.

This book is packed with new stories and strategies. It is also informed by a lot of new research and insights about human behavior–especially how people can make changes that actually stick.

I’m excited to share this new learning with you!


“As educators, we’ve all felt overwhelmed at times, where the purpose behind our teaching gets blurred. But fear not! In Mike Anderson’s book, rediscover your true calling in education. Through relatable stories and actionable tips, it guides us in self-care and reigniting our spark for teaching. Discover how the same six key intrinsic motivators we use with students can also empower our professional lives. Whether you’re a teacher or administrator, these strategies are invaluable. Let this resource be our guide to reclaiming our best self in the classroom.”

—Piesesha Hartiyana, curriculum specialist at HighScope Indonesia Institute, Jakarta, Indonesia


“As a seasoned teacher who’s experienced bouts of teacher guilt and fatigue, I found that this book spoke to me. New teachers: Read this book to begin these practices early on in your career so they become habits. Veteran teachers: Read this book as a check-in tool to both adjust and reaffirm your thinking. Administrators: Read this book to gain insight into what your staff may be thinking and feeling but are too afraid to ask. Anderson’s simple tips are manageable, transcend the classroom, and will have you saying, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?'”

—Lindsey Bickford, classroom teacher, Pittsfield, New Hampshire


“As a guidance counselor working with behaviorally and academically at-risk students for the past 18 years, sometimes I reflect, especially during the more challenging weeks, on how I’ve made it this far. Mike Anderson’s book offers practical advice and easy-to-implement strategies on developing habits that will strengthen, revitalize, and ultimately prolong the career of any educator who is feeling burned out and out-of-balance. I would highly recommend this book.”

—James Lopez, MEd, Casa Blanca Community School, Bapchule, Arizona


“If you’ve ever wondered how to create the conditions in which you just can’t wait for your alarm clock to buzz so you can get to school, and when the dismissal bell rings you skip gleefully to the parking lot, ecstatic about the difference you made, look no further. In Rekindle Your Professional Fire, Mike Anderson has brought those conditions to life. There’s a recipe in here, and like most recipes, if you tinker with it a little bit to make it your own, you can flourish . . . so that your students can do the same.

—Pete Hall, former school principal and author of Always Strive to Be a Better You


“Mike Anderson offers a hopeful message that we all need to hear now more than ever: under the right conditions, teaching can be more than just a job; it can be
a great, life-giving profession. With lively prose and compelling personal stories, Anderson deftly weaves together research and life lessons into practical, everyday shifts in professional practice and habits of mind that teachers can use right away to do more than survive, but actually thrive in their classrooms and along the way, rekindle their joy of teaching.”

—Bryan Goodwin, president & CEO of McREL International and author of The New Classroom Instruction That Works


“Mike Anderson once again delivers a book needed by our profession. His latest is a collection of applicable wisdom that has been expertly curated, interpreted, and applied to our profession. Mike’s conversational delivery of this practical, relevant wisdom is certain to engage educators of all experience levels. From first-year teachers to seasoned principals, this should be required reading for all educators.”

—Ed Joyce, principal, Ross A Lurgio Middle School, Bedford, New Hampshire


“Far too often, teachers are fearful, burned out, overly exhausted, and feeling stuck. Mike Anderson has written a book that’s chock-full of gems for cultivating curiosity, healthy habits, play, and passion—all in service of becoming well-balanced, healthier teachers. This is one of those grab and go, tab and mark up sort of reads that’s easy to digest and practical, too.”

—Nawal Qarooni, literacy consultant, author, and educator with NQC Literacy


“Most professional books focus on how you should teach. Mike Anderson’s Rekindle Your Professional Fire is about how to create the kind of life around your teaching that will help you stay fulfilled and full of passion for teaching. Mike is the wise, empathetic, and practical mentor you need to create a well-balanced teaching life.”

—Carl Anderson, co-author of How to Become a Better Writing Teacher and literacy consultant


“This book provides some great strategies to restore the joy that is at the center of our work. Mike Anderson’s blend of advice and research-based practices are a recipe for healthy restoration and rejuvenation that every and any educator can follow.”

—Marlene M. Silano, assistant superintendent, Cheshire Public Schools, Cheshire, Connecticut


“Mike Anderson has written another inspiring and strategy-rich book for those determined to prosper as educators. He puts into words what most of us don’t have the time or energy or skill to articulate: the work is hard, often not in our control, and we are still in this for the joy and pride we want for ourselves and our students. He rekindles our sense of competence and purpose by offering an incredible array of uncomplicated strategies we can build into our days. It would be impossible to read this book and not be underlining and circling ideas to try. Warning: if you are cynical, frustrated, and burned out, and want to stay that way, this book is not for you.”

—Jeffrey Benson, author of Hacking School Discipline Together

Supportive Resources

Here are a few other resources you might consider checking out if you’re interested in teacher engagement and balance:

Rekindle Your Professional Fire, LiveBinder: This online bank of resources is packed with articles, videos, and other materials. I’ve made this binder free, public, and copyable, so feel free to share with friends and colleagues.

Health and Balance Blog Posts: Over many years I’ve written many blog posts to support teachers as they juggle the demands of the profession. This is a collection of all of them.

Rekindle Your Professional Fire Asynchronous Course: I’ve created an online course that is based on this book. It’s light, easy, fun, and chock full of practical ideas. There are no papers to write and nothing is graded. Just you, enjoying and learning. You can print a certificate showing 6 hours of PD when you finish.