Teacher Burnout

This project is written for pastors, teachers, students, and those involved in the helping professions. The church can provide the tools for intervention into the problem of teacher burnout. Teachers, who enter the New York City public education system, soon find out that they may have to take a bite out of forbidden fruit if they want to teach all children, and leave no child behind. The education system is a coded system, and without the codes, it can be a difficult task for some. Pastors will be called on to provide pastoral counseling for teachers experiencing symptoms from the stress of teaching. This project provides information on some of the issues

When preparing to become a teacher, it is necessary to be wide-awake to what you are learning. The information becomes part of who you are, and decisions and choices have to be made on what will be taken that will be useful in the full development of the human spirit. Eve, in the mythical story in the bible, took a bite into the fruit of knowledge, and the course of human history was changed. The teacher’s bite can do the same. The biblical story about the New York City education system is yet to be told. The fruit of knowledge is still forbidden to select populations, and few teachers have the courage to take a bite. This lack of courage can cause frustration to occur and eventually result in some leaving the system all together. For those who have the courage to bite into the fruit, this project is dedicated. The road is difficult, but for those who have the courage to stay the course God’s children will call you blessed.  This project is a journey through the world of teaching, and provides a guide for those who want to step out on faith and walk on water.

This project is divided into six chapters. Chapter one will include a statement of what the writer believes to be the problem in teacher retention. It presents the question, which ask why are so many teachers leaving the classroom. This chapter also covers the purpose of the study. The reader will note the specific limitations of the project and get the understanding that it is written as a helping document and does not intend to place the blame on individuals or systems.  The ministry context will also be included in this section, and what the writer believes is an opportunity for leadership. The spiritual autobiography will include a look into the life and passions of the writer and the qualifications to lead this project. In order to help the reader to understand the anatomy of the project, this chapter included the inspiration for the project.

Chapter two reviews the literature in the field on teacher burnout and some of the reasons teachers have indicated were reasons for bailing out of the teaching profession. Chapter three provides a biblical and theological framework for the project. The reader will be encouraged to look at some of the works of St. John and Saint Paul as they help us to understand how teaching involves right mental attitude and provides reference to Jesus his life and his message.

Chapter four provides three methods used by the writer to organize the project and to determine the need for the project. The reader will learn what part a pilot study at the UTS Seminary played in helping to provide the courage to start the project. Special attention will be given to focus groups held with teachers to listen to their stories about some teaching experience and what they would like to see in a program for teachers. Chapter five will include a look inside of the daycare early childhood system in order to provide some information on how some teachers handle stress and remains in educational environments.

Chapter six discusses what was found in these three methods used to determine the need for the project. The most significant part of the project will be how the Riverside Church became a supportive force in this project and demonstrated how the church could play a critical role in spirituality and spiritual intervention in addressing the issue of teacher burnout.


Read my dissertation here.