Many teachers find the demands of being a professional educator in today’s schools difficult and at times stressful. When work stress results in teacher burnout, it can have serious consequences for the health and happiness of teachers, and also the students, professionals, and families they interact with on a daily basis.
Burnout results from the chronic perception that one is unable to cope with daily life demands. Given that teachers must face a classroom full of students every day, negotiate potentially stressful interactions with parents, administrators, counselors, and other teachers, contend with relatively low pay and shrinking school budgets, and ensure students meet increasingly strict standards of accountability, it is no wonder many experience a form of burnout at some point in their careers. Efforts at primary prevention, in which teachers’ jobs are modified to give them more control over their environment and more resources for coping with the demands of being an educator, are preferable over secondary or tertiary interventions that occur after burnout symptoms have surfaced. However, research reviewed here indicates each type of prevention can be useful in helping teachers contend with an occupation that puts them at risk for burnout.