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Teacher’s burnout


It is no secret that the teaching profession has a high social value. Those working in the field spend many hours teaching, are responsible for students and are often burdened with administrative work. The rapid change in the way of working due to the pandemic has added to their workload. If teachers are not properly supported and do not take the necessary time off, they can easily fall victim to professional burnout syndrome.
Professional burnout can be described as a “state of chronic stress” that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, disorientation, feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of achievement.
Teachers are usually hard working, constantly developing their skills and willing to provide a lot of added value. These traits are commendable, but they can lead to negative consequences for their psychological and physical health, psychologist Kiril Kunchev told Radio VIDIN :
“Occupational burnout is defined by the World Health Organization in the International Classification of Diseases as a syndrome occurring as a result of chronic stress at work that has not been successfully managed and mastered. This is a condition whose causes and symptoms must be associated only with the work process.This feature should be emphasized, as many of the symptoms of burnout can also be found in other conditions and disorders, e.g. – experiencing situational work stress, mental fatigue, depression, alienation, etc.”
According to a study of teacher burnout from 1995, the rate of this process is on the order of 5% per year, which convinces us that either a teacher should work for no more than 20 years, or compensatory mechanisms should be applied to him . A similar study is also being conducted in our country, said  Dr. Julian Petrov , chairman of the “Education” union at the “Support” labor confederation:
“Syndicat “Education” for maybe a dozen years started some talks with the Ministry of Education and Culture about a huge problem in the teaching profession, which is focused on the basis of many scientific and global studies. Already in the last century, in the eighties, teacher burnout was set as a national problem of every nation that cares about itself and education, and since 1982 the teaching profession has been in the column of “risky professions” in terms of the burnout effect of pedagogical specialists university to conduct a national study and diagnosis of the burnout syndrome among teachers. There, in fact, some very stressful results are reached – the stressful factors in the teaching profession are above the permissible ones in Europe and the world, and if it is assumed that a 30% burnout effect in the profession of the teacher is something standard, in Bulgaria we found through this research, which is huge and includes thousands of pedagogical specialists in Bulgaria, that in some places this burnout reaches over 60%.”
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75% of human illnesses are caused by stress. Until a few years ago, in the educational system of Bulgaria, there were no representative aggregated data for diagnosing the burnout effect of pedagogical specialists, and logically there was no national educational policy for the prevention of professional burnout among teachers.
The negative consequences for both the teacher’s personality and the students and the organization as a whole hardly have an exact economic equivalent. Rather, their expression is in the realm of the psychological, social, and physical dimensions of human health and human relationships, as well as in our sense of happiness, job satisfaction, and professional effectiveness.
The consequences of the syndrome of emotional “burnout” in the teaching profession, both for the individual teacher and for the organization as a whole, show the seriousness of the problem.
“Each stage of burnout requires different mutual help, and this means that the first step to deal with it involves diagnosis. Of course, it is recommended that it be done by a specialist – a psychologist or a psychiatrist. It always includes an interview, and sometimes the application of various textual methods. In the initial stage of mutual assistance, it is enough for the teacher to change his beliefs, i.e. to reformulate his attitude, expectations, claims and goals in the professional sphere, setting himself a single task, which is to restore the life balance between professional commitments and the other spheres of life – family, friends, personal life, etc., it is harmful to turn professional tasks into the meaning of life. The circle of communication should not be limited to the teaching staff and the workplace. It is important that the teacher has a circle of friends outside of school, people with other occupations, professional activity, recreation and lifestyle. Time management techniques are also useful – for example, a schedule for each week that will provide time for all areas of life” – are among the things that can are done when feeling professional burnout.