School Staff Burnout

Periodically, windows of opportunities arise for providing inservice at schools about mental health and psychosocial concerns. When such opportunities appear, it may be helpful to access one or more of our Center's Quick Training Aids.

Each of these offers a brief set of resources to guide those providing an inservice session. (They also are a form of quick self-tutorial.)    

Most encompass    
  • key talking points for a short training session
  • a brief overview of the topic
  • facts sheets
  • tools
  • a sampling of other related information and resources

In compiling resource material, the Center tries to identify those that represent "best practice" standards. If you know of better material, please let us know so that we can make improvements.

Guide for Suggested Talking Points

  1. Brief Overview
    1. Present main points from:
      School Staff Burnout - Excerpted from Addressing Barriers to Learning Newlsetter. Volume 7, Number 2, Spring 2002.
      1. Use this document to highlight the intrinsically motivated origins of school staff burnout. This perspective describes the psychological mechanisms and dynamics at work within the school environment that may put school staff at risk.
      2. Note the main points in the section entitled Promoting Well-Being, which proposes various school-based strategies for reducing staff burnout
    2. What is Job Burnout? - Selected quotes and excerpts from Job Burnout in Public Education: Symptoms, Causes, and Survival Skills, by A.J. Cedoline.
      1. Explore the concept of "burnout," and review examples of the individual, social, and organizational scenarios within the work place which contribute to burnout.
      2. Discuss the causes as outlined.
    3. How Do We Deal With Burnout? - Excerpted from Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W.B., & Leiter, M.P. (2001). Job Burnout. Annual Review of Psychology, 52: 397-422.
      1. Contrast approaches that focus on increasing coping ability in individuals (see section on Changing the Individual for examples), with approaches emphasizing environmental reforms (see the section Changing the Organization for examples).
      2. Explain implications of each approach with respect to prevention and recovery.

  2. Fact Sheets & Practice Notes
  3. Tools & Handouts
    1. Enhancing School Culture: Reculturing Schools - Excerpted from Peterson, K.D. (2002). Positive or negative? Journal of Staff Development, Summer, 23(3).
      • To distribute to school staff as a stimulus for further discussion
    2. Avoiding Burnout & Staying Healthy - Excerpted from Teacher Tips: Avoiding Burnout & Staying Healthy. Georgia Association of Educators Online. (
      • Particularly relevant for new teachers - highlights general lifestyle tips for preventing stress in preparation for and throughout the school year.
    3. Bouncing Back from Burnout - Excerpted from Lombardi, J.D. (1990). Do You Have Teacher Burnout.
      • Targeted to teachers - emphasis is placed on restructuring time, resources, and priorities.

  4. Model Programs - for review and subsequent discussion
    1. Supporting professionals-at-Risk: Evaluating Interventions to Reduce Burnout and Improve Retention of Special Educators - Excerpted from E. Cooley & P. Yovanoff (1996). Exceptional Children, Vol. 62, No. 4, pp 336-355.
      • Highlight occupational stress management interventions and their effectiveness. (Provides descriptions of effective internal coping methods, as well as active problem-solving techniques).
    2. Urban School Restructuring and Teacher Burnout - ERIC/CUE Digest, Number 75. Available online:
      • Strategies calling for system-level change to prevent and reduce burnout

  5. Additional Resources
    1. QuickFind on Burnout - (Printer friendly version)
    2. Selected References
    3. At Risk Teachers - by Ormond Hammond & Denise Onikama, Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (1996). Available online:
      • A review of the research literature on risk factors for teacher stress, burnout, absenteeism, and attrition. The review also proposes a model of how negative outcomes for school staff impact student learning.

  6. Originals for Overheads
  7. The following can be copied to overhead transparencies to assist in presenting this material.
    1. What Causes Burnout?
    2. Three Stages of Burnout
    3. Promoting Well-Being and Preventing Burnout
    4. How Do We Deal with Burnout?

This material provided by: UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools/Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563
(310) 825-3634/ Fax: (310) 206-8716/ Email:
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