Perceptions of Preservice and Inservice Teachers: A Comparison of Factors That Relate to Teacher Burnout

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Laura Callahan (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
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Abstract: It is very possible for a child who attends special classes to be taught by a special education teacher who really does not want to be teacher. According to Richard Schwab of the University of New Hampshire, many teachers, even those who started out "bright-eyed and dedicated", want to leave the profession (USE Today, 1985). Such is the case in the following examples: Four weeks into the school year, a first year teacher in a class for behaviorally disordered junior high exhausted to continue. By all accounts, she was well prepared for her job, having completed teacher preparation programs in both regular and special education. She had been a good student in her classes, had had successful experiences in student teaching, and had even worked as a teacher aid in a state hospital school during two previous summers. She was enthusiastic, appeared to have realistic expectations of what she was getting into, and wanted to tech behaviorally disordered children. In short, she showed considerable promise. Even so, she could not cope with the situation in which she found herself.Tears came easily when she attempted to deal with the behavior of her students and when she talked to others about the problems she was having. She dreaded each new day and was so exhausted that she went to be at 6 p.m.. Finally, with feelings of confusion and frustration, mixed with anger toward the students, administration, and most of all herself, she asked for a leave of absence (Zabel and Zabel, 1980, cited in Ysseldyke and Algozzine, 1980).Many teachers in our school today fully understand what it is like to be in a similar situation An alarming number of teachers have been through or are going through the very same predicament. Some of these teachers are still in the classroom, others have resigned and are now in different occupations. They have all had to deal with the same debilitating effects of the syndrome that many in the helping professions (i.e. careers where the workers are in constant contact with people) experience--job burnout. Although a great deal of research has been done in the area of burnout, no data exist today revealing the amount of teachers who are burned out. In 1978, though, it was estimated that six percent of the nations special education teachers were burned out in that year (cited in Ysseldyke and Alogizzine, 1980).

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1986
Preservice Teachers, Inservice Teachers, Teacher Burnout, Helping Profession,

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