Teacher Burnout: The Issue that Hinders Education Everywhere

  • By: Generation Z Team

The profession of teaching is no easy path. Educators are expected to adapt to different learning styles and personality types while handling excessive amounts of work. They also face heavy criticism in terms of work ethic and are expected to adapt quickly to the ever-changing education system. All this stress can quickly result in teacher burnout with many educators leaving the field. Reducing this issue should be a number one priority in all educational institutions. Educators lay the foundation of students’ academic journey and must be supported correctly to create a healthy, prosperous learning environment.

Burnout typically occurs when individuals overwork and overstress themselves, resulting in physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. Due to the heavy weight that educators take on, burnout can happen very quickly. According to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization Join Committee, 25-33% of teachers suffer significantly from stress. Further showing that high demands, without equal care, cause teachers to struggle in the field.

Several reasons factor into burnout such as inadequate preparation of educators and work overload. In K through 12 classes many educators are assigned to subjects outside of their area of expertise thus placing them in a situation that they are unprepared to deal with. To reduce burnout, professional development and courses must be a high priority. Educators will learn to handle all aspects of their work, education policies, new technologies and strategies, and other obstacles that may arise. Having the correct support and collaborating with educators will reduce stress, resulting in less burnout.

Emotional exhaustion is also a significant aspect of burnout. Educators must be able to work with different types of students and are more susceptible to noticing issues among their students that can impact them emotionally. This weight severely affects teaching capabilities, leading to depersonalization and cynicism. Teachers become more detached from their students and colleagues resulting in an unhappy environment for all. Students' mental health is incredibly important for their academic journey, but an educator's mental health is equally as important for the teacher themselves and the environment they create. Ensuring that teachers have access to resources, such as mental health professionals, is vital to make the system flow smoothly.

Burnout is a serious issue. To limit this problem, it is crucial to place importance on educators’ academic preparedness and their own mental health. Professional development, workshops, courses, and access to a mental health professional should be provided for educators to learn how to navigate the system without over-exhausting themselves. It is up to investors and those who run educational institutions to ensure that these services are accessible to reduce burnout. The first priority should be educators, as the world does not advance without those who guide us to move forward.