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Preventing burnout

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Burnout is defined as a negative psychological experience related to work stress. It is an umbrella term for different negative consequences of work such as emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and lack of personal accomplishment. (Maslach & Jackson, 1986). It is evident in people whose jobs require repeated exposure to emotionally charged social situations . Thus, it is a number one risk among teachers. Burnout was first defined by Freudenberger (1974) and involves feelings of failure and exhaustion which result from excessive demands on a person’s energy.

 

By Dr Theodora Papadopoulou Chamouza, Doctor of Psychology, Neurolinguist


This is accompanied by insufficient reward for the effort. Burnout is also defined as “a syndrome of Emotional Exhaustion, Depersonalization, and Reduced Accomplishment. Teaching is a high-stress occupation. Carter (1994) defines teacher burnout as physical, emotional, and attitudinal exhaustion. Its first signs are feelings of uneasiness and mounts as total lack of motivation for teaching.

 

Teacher burnout is also caused by a lack of social recognition of teachers, large class sizes, lack of resources, isolation, fear of violence, lack of classroom control, role ambiguity, limited promotional opportunities, and lack of support.


Teacher burnout has long been understood to have significant negative effects on teaching efficacy. Research has proved that student misbehaviour is a major predictor of teacher burnout. Teachers lose energy and effort trying to deal with student misbehavior and if their efforts do not prove to be effective then teachers feels useless and insufficient. The truth is that it requires a lot of knowledge and experience to deal with such behaviours in the classroom without labelling these students and destroy your lesson. Teacher burnout is also caused by a lack of social recognition of teachers, large class sizes, lack of resources, isolation, fear of violence, lack of classroom control, role ambiguity, limited promotional opportunities, and lack of support.

 






To prevent burnout, it is suggested to initiate the development of professional support groups in every school In order to restore balance and prevent burnout, Teachers need to feel supported, estimated, and embraced in a working environment that is supportive After all, teaching is an art! Therefore it needs to be admired, ‘seen’, understood and cherished. •


Bibliography
Maslach C & Jackson SE (1986). MBI: Maslach Burnout Inventory; Manual Research Edition (2nd ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychological Press. Maslach C, Schaufeli WB & Leiter MP (2001). Job burnout. Annual Review Psychology, 52, 397-422
Vanderberghe R & Huberman AM (1999). Understanding and preventing teacher burnout. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

 

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