Asee peer logo

Suffering Burnout But Don't Want To Quit Your Job? Try Finding A Teaching Sabbatical

Download Paper |


2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.912.1 - 6.912.8

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Robert Montgomery

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session Number 1675

Suffering Burnout but don’t Want to Quit your Job? Try Finding a Teaching Sabbatical

Robert E. Montgomery Department of Freshman Engineering, Purdue University


After nearly fifteen years of the same basic job, the author knew that a change was needed in order to assure a continuation of new ideas and progress in his career. Two choices were available: finding a new job, or finding a sabbatical host and getting leave approved. While it is untested as to which would be easier, since only one path could be chosen, the choice to seek a sabbatical leave seemed the best, as really good career positions are not easily found.

Many items need to be considered in preparation for a sabbatical leave, and it seems that many more crop up in the seeking of just the right opportunity. Unfortunately, when one is seeking a teaching sabbatical, much of the preparation is moot when considered in light of the sheer difficulty of simply finding a suitable host for the teaching experience. The author discusses his initial failed attempts to find a suitable opportunity, including three stages of seemingly organized attempts to solve this problem like any engineering problem - calmly, logically, and with a firm grasp of the facts at hand.

A sabbatical position was finally secured by the author, and the details of finding and securing it is the main thrust of this paper. The preparation involved in earlier failed attempts was put to good use in the successful search, and persistence was a key element in the search. However, the primary factor in successfully securing the sabbatical opportunity was the realization that many Universities offer an environment in which one can revitalize one’s teaching, though the circumstances offered may not exactly match expectations. This is discussed in terms of the step-by-step procedural details involved in the author’s search, so that any faculty member seeking a teaching sabbatical can immediately put the information to use.


In reviewing literature on the sabbatical leave, Boening and Miller1 noted that "To address motivation, job burn-out, career advancement, and personal satisfaction, those who have taken sabbatical leaves view them as powerful tools for improving their careers." They also noted: "Sabbatical leaves ... are seen as of tremendous benefit to faculty as they seek self-improvement in ... teaching ... ." No wonder, then, that I felt that the solution to curing burn-out and to improving my teaching was to simply take a sabbatical leave from my position. What follows is primarily a summary of the experience of finding the right opportunity for that leave.

Background and Preparation -

“Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education”

Montgomery, R. (2001, June), Suffering Burnout But Don't Want To Quit Your Job? Try Finding A Teaching Sabbatical Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2001 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015