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DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATION OF A BURNOUT SCALE AMONG SCIENCE Essay

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Paper type: Essay

Teaching is said to be one of the stressful jobs often times having an intense interaction with students, parents and peers (Bakker et. al., 2006). One of the serious problems in school settings is teacher burnout (Blanford, 2009). Thousands of highly effective teachers in the United States were being affected by it for it is told to be as a serious psychological condition. Some researcher even showed that burnout among primary and secondary school teachers is high most in North European (Taris et. al., 2000), North America (Mearns and Cain, 2003), and Asian countries (Maslach et. al., 2001).

Teachers play an important role in the growing process of students (Tomic and brouwers, 2004). Thus, as teachers being the main actors of the school must possess a complete well-being (Pillay et. al., 2005). Pines (2002), said that, when work fails to encounter the person’s need to a better life, burnout is unavoidable. The most dedicated employees exhibit more severe forms of burnout.

A teacher who has low- esteem, low morale, and exhausted physically is a teacher who experience burnout (Roloff and Brown, 2011). Teacher morale is directly proportional with students’ achievements; the higher the teacher morale, the higher the students’ achievements will be (Raines, 2011). Among human service workers, teachers are one of those who suffer from long occupational stress as burnout was defined. Although there are varieties of reasons, all teachers are subjected to stress in their work. Most teachers can cope up with stress but burnout maybe the endpoint of unmanaged stress (Jenett, Harris, and Mesibov, 2003).

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Incapacity of an employee to do his duty or job can also be defined as burnout. It is a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment that can occur in an individual who work with people in some capacity (Maslac, et. al., 2001). These three elements are interconnected to each other, so as emotional exhaustion invites depersonalization, in turn could lead to reduced personal accomplishments. The central quality of burnout that represents feelings of being emotionally exhausted is emotional exhaustion. Of the three aspects of burnout, exhaustion is the most widely reported and a necessary orientation for burnout (Maslach, et. al., 2001). Depersonalization is the development of negative, callous, and cynical attitudes towards the recipients of one’s services. By ignoring the qualities of a person that makes him unique to engage with others, a person who suffers from depersonalization tends to distance himself emotionally and cognitively. Burnout talks about employee’s exhaustion and incapability to neutralize intense involvement that has a meaningful impact at work (Maslach et. al., 2009) and includes their emotional, mental and physical state and manifestations.

More so, who has negative feelings of competence and achievement with respect to negative statement over his work tends to reduce personal accomplishments. Maslach (2001) proposed that reduced personal accomplishment arise from a lack of resources or inefficacy, whereas exhaustion and depersonalization result from work overload and social conflict. Reduced Personal Accomplishment. According to Maslach and Jackson (1986), Sarros (1988), and Farber (1991), the feeling of excessive physical effort and emotional tiredness suffered as a consequence of the continuous, unavoidable interactions maintained by the workers with each other. This dimension is described as a feeling of lack of emotional resources due to being subjected to such unexpected duties or loads. Depersonalization includes cold development, distant, negative feelings, attitudes, and responses to colleagues, bosses, clients, etc., and an attempt to isolate themselves. This can trigger by an increase in irritability, loss of motivation, an ironic, cynical attitude and even the use of foul or offensive terms to colleagues, an attempt to blame others for their own frustrations and reduced work performance. Reduced personal accomplishment implies ones confidence, negative self- image and result of problems in the work place. There is a negative response towards oneself and one’s work: avoiding personal and professional relationships, reduced work performance, incapacity to deal with pressure, low self- esteem, feelings of disillusionment, failure, and absence of hope, and dissatisfaction. Burnout syndrome is, therefore, made up of three dimensions: Exhaustion, Depersonalization, and According to Peters and Rutte (2005), work overload and capacity to decide for oneself pursue a course of action in one’s life are certain school factors that is linked to burnout. Increase of number of students in a classroom, longer teaching hours and other responsibilities are examples of too much work load. Personal autonomy is experienced when there are sudden changes and additional restrictions in the school organization when procedures become more complex and when there is lack of clarity about individual responsibility. Several studies show that it is the teachers who often suffer burnout. It has been reported to have the highest level of emotional exhaustion (Maslach, et. al., 2001).

Moreover, a burnout person may show series of behavioral symptoms such as: lack of punctuality, avoidance of work, absenteeism and on occasion, they may even leave the profession. Frequent flu, colds, headache, and cardiovascular symptoms (Hack 1998 and Schonfeld, 2001), absenteeism, career change, mental health, early retirement (Burke and Schwarzer, 1996) are consequences of teachers who suffer from burnout. Aside from usual work- related stressors, there are other factors schools contribute to teacher burnout. In public schools, teachers have to deal with lack of textbooks, instructional materials, inadequate facilities and large class sizes. Teacher absenteeism and incidents of teacher hostility in the classroom are symptoms of teacher burnout (Maslach, et. al., 2001). The most recurrent causes for burnout syndrome are excessive bureaucratic nature of work, excess paper work, heavy work load, work family conflict and other work conditions (Maslach, Shaufeli & Leiter, 2001).

A burnout teacher can affect students’ attitudes and may result into a poor grasp and performance for the both party (Capel, 1991). Students need mentally and physically fit educators who can guide them as they find their way in this world. Burnout teachers suffer from irritability (Hubberman, 1993). Burnout teachers negatively affect themselves, their students and educational system (Hughes, 2001). Teachers play such a valuable role in helping our children grow up that any opportunity to promote their physical and mental health should be seized.

Teacher burnout may weaken teaching quality, discontent in teaching, work isolations, physical and emotional ill- health and leaving the profession (Vanderberghe and Huberman, 1991: Chan, 2006). Furthermore, Kristense et. al., (2005), agreed that Maslach’s definition of burnout is applied effectively to employees in the human service sector.

Early detection is better than cure. Students somehow could give complements among their teachers to help discover burnout among them. Interventions, strategies, and help could be early offered to help burnout victims cope with it. The use of proper instrument that would measure teacher burnout is necessary (Hughes, 2001). Questionnaires that would help assess teacher burnout maybe adapted to allow teachers examine themselves perceived symptoms of burnout.

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