top of page

What we Know from the Research on Teacher Burnout 

Circular Library

Teachers are among the groups of professionals most seriously impacted by stress, depression, and psychological fatigue.


Over 50% of new teachers flee the profession within their first 5 years, citing an inability to cope with the emotional demands of teaching.

Rarely are new and experienced teachers ever taught how to manage the emotional stress and demands of a heart-centered profession. When teachers feel overwhelmed and lack the resources, practices, tools, and habits of mind to cope, they burnout. Thus, the emotional and social cost of teacher burnout strikes the hearts, minds, and souls of our teachers, students, and our school communities. 

As teachers flee the profession, they leave feeling a profound sense of shame and guilt. Teacher who remain in the profession burnt-out, exhibit predictable manifestations of burnout: diminished sense of self and self-efficacy, depersonalization of their students, peers, and parents, and emotional, mental, and physical illness and fatigue.

Present TeacherTM professional develop provides teachers with a path forward through the stress. Every session, every training is designed to create a trauma-free environment for teachers to learn how to equip themselves with the tools, insights, and practices they need to metabolize stress, discover resilience, hope, competence, and confidence in their greatest struggles, and create safe spaces of learning infused with empathy and joy for their students. 

What the research says:

  • The mind of a teacher impacts teacher quality and is a critical factor in determining if a student receives a meaningful education[1].


  • Teachers are among the groups of professionals most seriously impacted by stress, depression, and psychological fatigue[2]


  • Emotional stress and poor emotional management are cited as two of the primary reasons teachers flee the profession with nearly half of new teachers leaving the profession within their first five years of teaching[3]


  • Teaching is emotional labor, and teacher emotional exhaustion and classroom climate are intricately connected. Burned-out teachers are less likely to demonstrate empathy and a caring attitude toward their students and have a diminished tolerance for disruptive behavior.


  • The mental/emotional traits or “dispositions” of teachers directly affect their effectiveness as educators. When teachers are resilient, focused, and engaged, they are more skillful in executing quality instruction and interacting with students in meaningful ways.


  • Self-awareness and emotional intelligence build resilience and support teachers in their ability to cope with the emotional demands of teaching.


  • Teacher dispositions are not fixed personality traits; they are dynamic and cultivatable. With a growing body of data-driven mindfulness-based interventions, we can effectively train and support the cultivation of self-awareness, critical consciousness, persistence, curiosity, positive attitude, and empathy, essential habits of mind of teachers.



[1] National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, 2002; National Reading Panel, 2000; Sanders & Horn, 1998; Wright, Horn, & Sanders, 1997 as cited in Waldington, E., & Waldington, P., (2011). Teacher Dispositions: Implications for teacher education, Childhood Education, 87, 323-326)

[2] Franco, C.,  Manas,  I.,  Cangas,  A., Moreno,  E.,  & Gallego,  J.  (2010). Reducing teachers’ psychological distress through a mindfulness training program.  The Spanish Journal of Psychology.  13,  655-666.

[3] Larrivee,  B.  (2012).  Cultivating Teacher Renewal. United Kingdom: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Teacher burnout starts as an occupational identity crisis but quickly generalizes to the entire self-concept of the teacher...

bottom of page