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Teachers and Employee Burnout - What's The Connection?

Teachers and employee burnout. Teachers experiencing employee burnout is rising and is concerning to the workplace.

Employee burnout is a pervasive issue in various professions, and the field of education is no exception. Teachers, as dedicated professionals shaping future generations, face unique challenges that can contribute to burnout.

Jake Biggs delves into the causes and consequences of teacher burnout, exploring its impact on both educators and students.

Drawing from empirical studies and expert opinions, Jake Biggs highlights the significance of addressing teacher burnout to ensure the quality of education.

Causes of Teacher Burnout:

  1. Workload and Time Pressure: Teachers often contend with excessive workloads, including lesson planning, grading, and administrative tasks. Time pressure can erode work-life balance and contribute to emotional exhaustion, a core component of burnout (Maslach & Jackson, 1981).

  2. Lack of Autonomy and Control: Limited decision-making authority can lead to feelings of frustration and disempowerment among teachers, contributing to emotional exhaustion (Leiter & Maslach, 1988).

  3. Student Behavioural Challenges: Dealing with disruptive behavior, learning disabilities, and diverse classroom environments can cause emotional strain and reduce a teacher's sense of accomplishment (Kyriacou, 2001).

  4. Inadequate Resources: Insufficient access to teaching materials, technology, and support staff can increase workload stress and hinder effective teaching (Ingersoll & Strong, 2011).

  5. High Expectations and Accountability: The pressure to achieve high student performance on standardized tests and meet rigorous educational standards can create stress and fear of failure (Hargreaves, 2000).

Consequences of Teacher Burnout:

  1. Diminished Job Performance: Burnout negatively affects a teacher's ability to deliver quality instruction, impacting student learning outcomes (Kyriacou, 2001).

  2. Increased Absenteeism: Burnout often leads to higher rates of absenteeism, reducing teacher availability and hindering continuity of instruction (Kyriacou, 2001).

  3. Attrition and Shortage of Teachers: High burnout rates contribute to teacher turnover, exacerbating the existing shortage of qualified educators (Ingersoll & Strong, 2011).

  4. Negative Impact on Student Outcomes: Teacher burnout can lead to a decline in students' academic performance, behaviour, and overall well-being (Harris, 2015).

Addressing Teacher Burnout:

  1. Supportive Work Environments: Schools should prioritise creating environments that foster collaboration, provide resources, and offer opportunities for professional development (Leiter & Maslach, 2005).

  2. Workload Management: Schools can implement strategies such as task delegation, efficient time management, and reducing non-teaching responsibilities (Kyriacou, 2001).

  3. Autonomy and Decision-making: Granting teachers more autonomy in instructional methods and classroom management can enhance job satisfaction and reduce burnout (Hargreaves, 2000).

  4. Emotional Support: Encouraging teacher-student relationships and providing access to counselling services can help teachers cope with emotional demands (Ingersoll & Strong, 2011).

  5. Recognition and Reward: Acknowledging teachers' efforts through recognition and incentives can boost morale and motivation (Leiter & Maslach, 2005).

  6. Nutrition Education: Healthy nutrition is vital to foster a healthy and happy teacher. Educating teachers on how to eat properly has a substantial impact on teacher burnout.

  7. Regular Exercise: Regular exercise is critical for physical and mental health and wellbeing. Teachers that are sedentary are more likely to experience employee burnout.

  8. Healthy Sleeping Patterns: Healthy sleeping patterns is critical to the management of employee burnout and teacher burnout.

  9. Stress Management: Teachers stress levels need to be managed to avoid employee burnout in the school.

Teacher burnout is a complex issue with far-reaching implications for educators, students, and the education system as a whole.

The causes and consequences of burnout are multi-faceted, encompassing factors such as workload, lack of autonomy, student challenges, and high expectations. Addressing teacher burnout requires comprehensive efforts, including creating supportive work environments, managing workloads, enhancing teacher autonomy, and providing emotional support.

By acknowledging the impact of burnout on both educators and students, policymakers and education stakeholders can work together to cultivate an environment that promotes the well-being of teachers and the quality of education.


  • Hargreaves, A. (2000). Mixed emotions: Teachers' perceptions of their interactions with students. Teaching and Teacher Education, 16(8), 811-826.

  • Harris, K. R. (2015). Teacher stress and the consequences for students. In J. L. Meece & J. S. Eccles (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Schools, Schooling and Human Development (pp. 161-178). Routledge.

  • Ingersoll, R. M., & Strong, M. (2011). The impact of induction and mentoring programs for beginning teachers: A critical review of the research. Review of Educational Research, 81(2), 201-233.

  • Kyriacou, C. (2001). Teacher stress: Directions for future research. Educational Review, 53(1), 27-35.

  • Leiter, M. P., & Maslach, C. (1988). The impact of interpersonal environment on burnout and organizational commitment. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 9(4), 297-308.

  • Leiter, M. P., & Maslach, C. (2005). Banishing burnout: Six strategies for improving your relationship with work. John Wiley & Sons.

  • Maslach, C., & Jackson, S. E. (1981). The measurement of experienced burnout. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 2(2), 99-113.

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