It's the end of the school day on Friday and most of the teachers are congregating in the lounge and classrooms, happily anticipating the weekend. Carole, however, walks straight to the parking lot without pausing to speak to colleagues as she did in former years. Today she informed the principal that she would not be renewing her contract as a remedial reading teacher and, although saddened by her decision, she also feels relief that months of increasing frustration and self-doubt have reached a conclusion.
Part of the tragedy of this hypothetical but all too familiar example of Carole is her feeling of isolation in dealing with the stress and depression culminating in burnout generated by her work as a remedial reading teacher. Ironically, her high levels of enthusiasm and success in her preservice education program and the excitement of her initial teaching experience did little to prepare Carole for the inevitable frustrations and disappointments in remedial teaching over which she had little or no control. Although a certain amount of stress and other burnout-inducing factors are present in any teaching situation, the authors of this article propose that the realities of certain professionals, such as reading teachers, magnify stress to levels that require explicit acknowledgement and preparation on a collective, profession-wide basis.
Sadler, J. C., & Cunningham, J. W. (1983). Burnout and the Reading Teacher. Reading Horizons, 23 (4). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol23/iss4/1