AbstractThe purpose of the study was to examine, through narrative, contributing factors which lead to burnout in three Hispanic middle school teachers in a school in South Texas that is predominantly Hispanic. Burnout, in this work, was understood to be the experience of excessive stress and anxiety which accompanies teachers’ inabilities to cope with environmental stressors present in their workplaces. While this term served to introduce the study, the participants defined their experiences of burnout in their own words (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000; Merriam, 1998). While the exact impact of teacher burnout on student achievement is unknown, it is clearly detrimental for the well being of the individual teacher and presumably to those around him or her, including students. Different factors such as teacher’s attitudes towards perceived stressors, administrative support, classroom discipline, and physical environment were characterized.
The researcher additionally used personal experiences and reflections in conjunction with existing scholarship on the subject in order to illuminate the stories. Stories were framed within different contexts (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000).The research in large part followed the narrative thread of the responses that the participants provided, resulting in the themes of the study. Teachers candidly discussed their thoughts and opinions about stressful factors. Although the stories of each of the teachers included different reasons for burnout, within which the temporal nature of burnout was revealed, as well as the angst of teachers trying to relate their careers to their lives, it was apparent that burnout is an essential problem in this Hispanic teaching community. From this work, scholars and practitioners should be able to gather a sense of what a few bilingual South Texas teachers experience in their workplaces.