Are school teachers spreading the stress burnout contagion to each other? Study says yes

If you are a teacher facing a burnout, chances are this has been passed on you buy your colleagues or the negative school environment.

teacher burnout

teacher burnout

Kenneth Frank, a professor of measurement and quantitative methods in MSU’s College of Education, said that even if these teachers do not have direct contact with the stressed people, simply being surrounded by such a negative wall of burnout and stress can make the burnout feelings in themselves spill over.

The study which appears in the journal Teaching and Teacher Education found that if the school environment reeks of burnout, it provides a bigger link to the individual teacher burnout than the stress of close colleagues.

Who were studied for the research?

A number of 450 teachers provided the survey data-171 of them were relatively new to the profession and had not been working more than four years, and 289 of them were experienced teachers who were close to the younger teachers as mentors or friends.

Reasons behind teacher burnout:

  • The lead author of the paper, Kim, wanted to research on teacher burnout since she had herself been a newbie teacher in Korea who worked long days and weekends too
  • Early teachers are still adjusting to the workflow and so, they are prone to stress
  • Schools often fail to provide the resources required by teachers such as time for preparation, assistant teachers, materials to teach and help for professional development. These are required not only to ease the stress and burnout of teachers but also to help students learn better
  • The flaws in the educational policy such as evaluating teachers based on student merit, or not giving them a choice in student selection, are also responsible for teacher burnout, according to Frank
  • In India, we also have the added problems of low pay and a serious lack of teachers, with many schools in the country running in dilapidated established with barely one or two teachers. These can be extremely stressful to early teachers.

If it is the school organisation which needs to look into its flaws which are burning out its teachers, steps need to be taken immediately, without which the aim for India’s universal education will be pushed back even farther.