Document Type



Doctor of Education


Adult & Higher Education

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

E. Paulette Isaac-Savage, Ed.D.


Lynn Beckwith J., Ed.D.

Mavis Clark, Ed.D.

John A. Henschke, Ed.D.

Mattew J. Taylor, Ed.D.


Abstract Burnout is a syndrome consisting of emotional exhaustion (EE) and depersonalization (DPZ) (Yong & Yue, 2007). Teachers who fall victim to burnout are likely to be less sympathetic toward students, have a lower tolerance for classroom disruption, be less apt to prepare adequately for class, and feel less committed and dedicated to their work (Betoret, 2006; Byrne, 1991; Fisher, 2011). The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the burnout experiences among secondary teachers and the ways they cope with the adverse conditions. The participants were eight school high teachers from a large metropolitan area school district. Using in-depth interviews, the researcher was able to understand the personal meanings, expressed opinions, feelings, points of view, and other detailed descriptions of the participants. Administration issues, administrative workload, negative teacher/student relationships, and lack of student effort were themes associated with emotional exhaustion and depersonalization effecting teaching performance. In contrast, mental efficiencies, interpersonal relationships, and outside resources were themes associated with the coping activities/strategies of teachers. Preventing negative outcomes and minimizing unproductive behaviors and performance due to adverse effects of emotional exhaustion and detached attitudes towards students (i.e., depersonalization) may help teachers become more effective in the classroom (Hammond & Onikama, 1996; Maslach, 2003; Zonlnierczyk-Zreda, 2005).

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