Avoiding Teacher Burnout: Causes and Symptoms

Instructor: Marquis Grant
Many teachers may debate Neil Young's statement: 'It's better to burn out, then to fade away.' This lesson will highlight causes and symptoms of teacher burnout. A short quiz will follow to test your knowledge.

Causes of Teacher Burnout

Many new and veteran teachers leave the profession each year because of the job-related stress caused by everything from student behavior to lack of administrative support. Knowing the causes and symptoms of burnout may help schools and school districts create action plans to decrease the amount of stress experienced by teachers each year.

The phrase burnout means that an employee is experiencing some sort of job-related stress that is impacting his ability to perform his duties. There are many causes of teacher burnout, more than can be covered in this short lesson. However, there are a couple of prime candidates that top the list when it comes to setting teachers on a downward spiral:

  • Classroom management issues
  • Poor morale
  • Paperwork overload

Classroom management issues:

Show me a classroom that is out of control and I'll show you a teacher who is probably experiencing high levels of stress. Not much instruction is being accomplished in a chaotic classroom environment. The teacher will become disillusioned about the time wasted on lesson planning and gathering of resources from which the students will never benefit. Without a proper plan in place for disruptive behavior, a teacher in a poorly managed classroom will not very likely last until the end of the school year with her sanity intact.

Poor morale:

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