Personal and contextual factors related to teachers’ experience with stress and burnout

K. Andrew R. Richards, Michael A. Hemphill, Thomas J. Templin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Teaching has been characterised as a stressful profession that is prone to burnout. Less is known about the specific ways in which teachers experience and navigate stressors associated with their work. This study aimed to qualitatively understand how teachers who perceive high and low levels of burnout characterise their lived experiences in school environments. Data were collected through interviews with 28 inservice teachers (11 male, 17 female) from the US Midwest who reported high- or low-burnout on a psychometric survey. Data were analysed by two experienced qualitative researchers. Results indicated that (a) low-burnout teachers perceived nurturing teaching environments, (b) high-burnout teachers perceived combative and constraining teaching environments, and (c) all teachers had to manage workplace stress. Building from these findings, we present a model for understanding how the school environment influences teacher burnout. This model highlights the importance of developing optimal working conditions that nurture teacher development. Abbreviation: MBI-ES = Maslach Burnout Iventory-Educators Survey; IEP = Individualized Education Plan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)768-787
Number of pages20
JournalTeachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 3 2018


  • Identity
  • in-depth interviewing
  • qualitative research
  • social processes/development
  • sociology
  • stress management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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