Term of Award

Spring 2011

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

James Green

Committee Member 1

Teri Denlea Melton

Committee Member 2

Lisa Schulz

Abstract

Understanding what teachers need to help them relieve occupational stress can help administrators effectively combat teacher burnout. With the multiple roles teachers play, it is easy to see how role conflict, role ambiguity, and role overload increase the chances that a teacher will suffer from occupational related stress and subsequent burnout. If left unalleviated, teachers may begin to feel emotionally exhausted, detached from their colleagues, and lack feelings of personal accomplishment which can lead to burnout. The purpose of this study was to ascertain what teachers would like to see administrators do to help them combat the day-to-day stresses of teaching. The study consisted of two phases, one quantitative and one qualitative. The quantitative portion showed that the teachers in this study were suffering from moderate degrees of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. However, these teachers also felt high degrees of personal accomplishment. During the qualitative phase of the study, the researcher interviewed teachers to determine precisely what supports they would like to see from their administrators. The results fell into the following five categories, communication, discipline, professional development, consistency of rule enforcement, and reduction of paperwork. In addition, the researcher examined county documents to see what resources were available to help teachers who were feeling stressed. The results of this study showed that teachers are stressed; however, none of the documentation from the county offered assistance to teachers in times of stress. While the teachers in this study did feel mostly positive about their jobs and their impact on students, it is still obvious from the results of the study that small changes by administrators in the day-to-day operations of the school would go a long way to assisting teachers in combating job stress.

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