Talking Teaching: Emma Cann (Video)

The Talking Teaching video series and podcast is a series of conversations between Karl Millsom and other educators from around the world.

In episode 12 of Talking Teaching, Karl spoke with Emma Cann.

Emma is a coach who works with hardworking teachers and school leaders to develop strategies to find the clarity, confidence and calm to face challenges and manage stress without overwhelm or burnout.

Here is Emma on her how coaching can help teachers focus on what they love about their work...

Hi, I’m Emma.  I'm on a mission to empower teachers with the clarity, confidence and calm they need to do what they love and have their greatest impact without burning out.  I am passionate about helping teachers as a result of my own burnout, and everything I have learned and actioned since that has brought me to this place where I feel compelled to share what I know to help teachers for the benefit of everyone in the education system. There are different definitions, perceptions and experiences of burnout.  The term was first coined in 1974 by Herbert Freudenberger, who originally defined burnout as, 'the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one's devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.'

Reading that definition summed it up perfectly for me. I had been devoted to teaching. I loved it. I wanted to do my best all the time. I became a teacher to have an impact - and I was prepared to work hard to do so. But I got to a point where I wasn't having the impact I wanted to have. And I couldn't work any harder.  It was like I was pedalling a bike faster and faster but not moving any further forward.  And I was exhausted! Looking back, perhaps a gear shift was all I needed.  If only I had known it was that easy!  That gear shift could have not only prevented my burnout, but allowed me to have a greater impact for the same amount—or less—work! I also bet I would’ve loved my job more. 

Would you prefer to be pedalling frantically, moving nowhere fast and exhausting yourself in the process?  Or pedalling with purpose, travelling forward smoothly (at times effortlessly) and enjoying the view as you do so?

I know which I would’ve chosen. The work I do now is driven by my belief that all teachers should be able to do what they love and have their greatest impact.  Through coaching, I help them to focus their time and energy most effectively.  Some of what I do is really simple. But it's powerful. 

I work with individual teachers who are ready to create change for themselves and schools who are committed to valuing their teachers to create better outcomes for all. 

To find out more about how I help teachers shift gears, you can visit my website at, or get in touch at

You can watch the full conversation below. Please don't forget to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE on Youtube if you find it interesting.

If you prefer an audio-only version, you can subscribe to the podcast here.


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