Study reveals that teacher inefficacy and burnout is the result of excessive demands, insufficient resources and lack of training.
Teaching is more demanding than anyone would think. A study supports the theory that teachers work under constant pressure and exhaustion, a situation that seems to affect student outcomes.
Researchers from the University of Missouri assessed the way in which teachers deal with adversity and how this affects the performance of students. 93% of the respondents indicated that they work under high-stress levels. In turn, the students of these teachers reported poor performance in subjects such as math and poor development of prosocial behavior. Who is to blame?
Stress and teacher burnout
The researchers point out that teacher inefficacy and discontent is partly the result of excessive demands and insufficient resources to meet those demands; it generates negative attitudes such as frustration, absenteeism or the desire to change jobs.
Besides, teachers are often the most affected by accountability. They receive pressure from administrators, parents, and society to increase student success, while in most cases they receive few resources to do so.
On the other hand, some teachers work in adverse school environments; for example, if a teacher perceives that he does not master the antisocial or aggressive behavior of the students, it can affect his emotional state preventing him from applying adequate instructions.
The researchers propose to evaluate teachers according to their levels of stress, coping and burnout to identify those who need support. Voluntary or self-evaluation is critical to promote awareness of mental health and health promotion.
The evaluation can start by employing brochures with stress and coping scales, a simple scoring rubric and a menu of resources to take action (books, workshops, and contacts of health care institutions).
Also, it is crucial to invest resources in developing the skills of teachers to adapt. Provide them with coping skills, and supply schools and teachers with sufficient operating resources.