When Work Demands Exceed Resources

The definition of Teacher Burnout has been one that was primarily believed to be a syndrome caused by prolonged exposure to interpersonal stressors on the job and characterized by:

  • Overwhelming exhaustion or a sense of depletion
  • Cynicism or detachment from the task of teaching
  • A feeling of lacking in accomplishment or a sense of ineffectiveness

But it is important to keep in mind the differences between work or job demands and resources. Job demands refer to physical, psychological, social, or organizational job traits that incur sustained physiological and/or psychological costs. This is in abject contrast to the resources that are defined as aspects of the job that facilitate the achievement of work goals, reduce the costs of job demands, or stimulate personal growth.

More recently, personal resources were added to the equation. These are characteristics or traits associated with resilience that help employees manage and cope with their environment.

“Teachers are turning to personal resources when their work resources fall short.”

Aaron Jarrels

Examples of demands and resources:

Work Demands                      

  • Role ambiguity
  • Work overload
  • Unfavorable scheduling
  • Work/family conflict
  • Interpersonal conflict
  • Job insecurity
  • Inadequate pay
  • Hazards
  • Unfair treatment

Work Resources

  • Autonomy
  • Achievable challenges
  • Effective leadership
  • Task variety
  • Social support
  • Participative decision-making
  • Performance feedback
  • Recognition and rewards
  • Innovative environment
  • Good communication

Personal Resources

  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Optimism
  • Resilience
  • Confidence
The Burnout Spectrum

The Burnout Spectrum

The easiest way to think about what burnout is or to define it is to place it in a measurable state. I believe that burnout is not as simple as black and white. It isn’t as simple as saying a teacher either has it or doesn’t. As a college social psychology instructor and licensed therapist, I believe that burnout falls on a spectrum. I believe that on one end is Burnout and on the other is Engagement. They are essentially opposite, meaning you cannot burn brightly in your passion and experience burnout at the same time.

If you want to burn brightly in your passion for teaching again it will take a shift in your perception. It requires that you change your mind. I have developed the RE:MIND non-workshop especially for this. Use the Coupon Code “insider” and save 40% right now off the regular price.

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Aaron Jarrels

I am focused on helping anyone who wants to expand their reach. I help people overcome their limiting beliefs and show them how to gain the confidence to eliminate imposter syndrome that hinders success. I specialize in assisting people with shifting their mindsets and help them master the skills necessary to achieve professional and personal success.