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School Climate

"Burnout Contagion: Is It Due to Early-Career Teachers' Social Networks or Organizational Exposure?"

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The professional climate of a school can create a "vicious cycle" of burnout and attrition among young teachers, says a new study in the journal Teaching and Teacher Education.

Researchers tracked teachers in their first four years on the job in 10 districts in Indiana and Michigan. They looked at the stress and burnout levels of the novice teachers' mentors and close colleagues. They also examined broader structural issues in the teachers' schools, such as poverty concentration, trust among staff, and whether teachers felt their instructional approach "fit."

The best predictor of whether a young teacher would burn out in his or her first four years on the job was the average stress and burnout level of teachers in the school. It was a stronger indicator than the school's poverty level. Although schools that had more low-income students were also more likely to have stressed teachers, it didn't necessarily lead to burnout among young teachers if their school climate was strong and healthy. –sarah d. sparks

Vol. 36, Issue 37, Page 5

Published in Print: July 19, 2017, as School Climate
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