Date of Award

5-2019

Culminating Project Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.

Department

Educational Administration and Higher Education

College

School of Education

First Advisor

Kay Worner

Second Advisor

John Eller

Third Advisor

David Lund

Fourth Advisor

Janine Wahl

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Work-Related Burnout, Coping Strategies

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to examine kindergarten through fifth grade teachers’ responses regarding their work-related stressors, the type of manifestations of stress, both emotional and/or behavioral, they experienced due to work-related stress, and their identification of coping strategies used to reduce their work-related stress. The teachers who participated in the study were from identified school districts in northern Minnesota. The study participants completed a 21 question online survey based on the Teacher Stress Inventory developed by Dr. Michael J. Fimian in 1984 and through the researcher’s teaching experiences.

The intent of the study was to assist classroom teachers and their administrators in acknowledging that work-related stress does exist and that there are strategies that could assist teachers with coping with work-related stressors.

Study findings revealed kindergarten through fifth grade teachers in select northern Minnesota schools reported the most noticeable work-related stressors were described by the following statements: there is too much work to do; student behaviors negatively impact my ability to perform my job; there is little time to prepare for my lessons/responsibilities; and my personal priorities were being short-changed due to time demands at work. Those most noticeable work-related stressors represent emotional manifestations of stress.

Physical manifestations of stress reported by the study participants included: feeling tired before arriving to work; physical exhaustion; and becoming fatigued over a short period of time.

The coping strategies most used to cope with work-related stressors were identified by study participants as personal and family relationships, physical activity, and entertainment.

The study results indicated that teachers should be made aware that they could benefit from implementing coping strategies to address work-related stress and that those strategies, such as mindfulness and healthy habits and relationships, provide ways to manage their stress.

Furthermore, school districts leaders should be cognizant of the immense stress teachers experience and, as a result, invest in professional development opportunities, such as mindfulness-based programs, that can be customized to address this important issue.

Comments/Acknowledgements

A special thanks to my advisor and chairperson, Dr. Kay Worner. Thank you for all your support and guidance on this journey.

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