School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Timothy R Nelson


Case Study, Middle School, Teacher Burnout, Teacher Coping Strategies, Teacher Stress




The purpose of this case study is to examine the intersection of personal and professional stress in the lives of public middle school teachers. Many aspects of a teacher’s professional life may contribute to stress and burnout, including pressures from administration, time pressures, observations, assessments, workload, classroom management, discipline, student learning, and motivational issues. Many aspects of a teacher’s personal life may also contribute to stress and burnout, including family responsibilities, finances, and time pressures. In order to overcome pressures at work and home, teachers oftentimes develop successful strategies or coping mechanisms. Other times, teachers burn out and quit the profession. The central research question for this study was, how do public middle school teachers describe the stress that impacts them in their professional and personal lives? The theory guiding this study was burnout theory by Maslach and Leiter. Ten public middle school teachers in central Florida were examined in a case study. To gather data needed for this study, interviews were conducted, a focus group interview was used, and letters written by teachers were examined. Data analysis utilized open coding and the identification of themes or classifications. Understanding patterns and themes of teacher stress, burnout, and coping strategies can help to reduce teacher burnout and attrition.

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