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Teacher Burnout: Symptoms, Causes, and Ways to Alleviate Stress

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News Release

Teacher burnout can occur for a variety of reasons. Due to school shootings and violence, many teachers are dealing with more stress than before. In addition, student anxiety and stress can make teachers experience anxiety and stress as well.

If you or a loved one is experiencing the signs of teacher burnout, it is important to take time for yourself. Prevention techniques and coping mechanisms can also help improve mental health among school staff members. When teachers aren’t getting the care and support that they need from their school districts, they must seek out this knowledge on their own, so they can be prepared for anything.

What is Teacher Burnout?

Teacher burnout is when teachers are in a state of chronic stress. Because of this stress, the teacher can experience detachment, emotional exhaustion, and cynicism. They also may feel like their work isn’t accomplishing anything.

Educators often go above and beyond their job titles to help students learn. Without adequate rest and the ability to help their students, they can experience burnout.

High levels of stress can be caused by school shootings, student mental health issues, a lack of support from the school administration, and working too many hours. Right now, many areas are dealing with a teacher shortage because of teacher burnout.

Among other teacher burnout statistics, 52 percent of teachers report feeling always or very often burned out at work. As a result, K-12 workers are the most burned-out group of workers in the United States. 

Causes of Teacher Burnout

While the symptoms of teacher burnout can appear after a school shooting, teachers can also feel burned out because of normal, day-to-day interactions. Difficult parents, student stress, lack of appreciation, and job expectations can leave teachers feeling physically and emotionally exhausted.

School Shootings

Fearing for your life and the life of your students isn’t just stressful. It’s also incredibly demoralizing. Living with this stress can quickly exhaust a teacher’s mental and physical resources.

Student Stress & Anxiety

You might also notice signs of teacher burnout when students are stressed or anxious. Teachers care deeply about their students, so they can easily develop stress and anxiety if their students are going through the same problems.

Difficult Parents

When it comes to teacher burnout, parents can be a major problem. Parents can be mean, disrespectful, and angry, which has an immediate impact on teachers. Because of this kind of stress, 44 percent of teachers said they were very or fairly likely to leave the profession within two years. 

Job Expectations

Teachers are expected to be part-time counselors, educators, coaches, friends, parents, and more. Unsurprisingly, these unrealistic job expectations set teachers up for failure. When they can’t reach an impossible goal, they become depressed and burned out.

Feeling Underappreciated

Despite pulling long hours and wearing so many different hats, teachers are chronically underappreciated. They rarely get a thank you from students, parents, or principals when they put in extra effort to help their students.

Teacher Burnout Symptoms

There are many signs of teacher burnout, and each person may experience this in different ways. Family, friends, and teachers should pay attention to the following symptoms.

Weight Changes

If your appetite or weight changes significantly, it could be a sign of burnout.


When someone is experiencing constant fatigue or insomnia, it indicates a potential problem.

Anxiety and Depression

Any signs of anxiety and depression could be connected to teacher burnout.

Concentration Problems

When teachers are burned out, they may become forgetful or have problems concentrating on specific tasks.

How Teachers Can Overcome Stress and Burnout

If you or a loved one is experiencing the symptoms of teacher burnout, there are a few things you can do to prevent and alleviate this issue.

Take Time Away

It’s hard to refresh your battery when you’re running on empty and haven’t had a moment’s rest. While it might not be possible right away, you should give yourself time away from school-related issues. At the very least, set aside 10 minutes each night to meditate, take a bath, or simply relax.

Encourage Mental Health Programs for Students

Because teachers can become stressed when students are stressed, it’s important for administrators to help students get mental health support. Calm-down rooms, school counselors, and similar programs can help students get the support they need.

Get Educated

If your district isn’t educating you about how to prevent school shootings, you should take matters into your own hands. By being prepared, you can reduce how anxious you feel about school shootings and violence. You can also learn techniques for spotting and intervening with at-risk students.

Take a Self-Defense Class

Another way to reduce stress and gain confidence is through self-defense courses. You can practice self-defense with your colleagues and students. In addition, take some time to discuss your concerns with administrators and other teachers. 

Build Your Community

Every teacher has experienced many of the same struggles and emotions. Teachers’ lounges can be a place where teachers share their difficulties, get advice, and build a support network.

Get Help with Burnout

If you or a loved one is struggling with teacher burnout, help is available. Reach out to Vista del Mar Hospital today for help with mental health issues.