A Qualitative Study of Contributing Factors of Early Career Teacher Burnout

Mindi Ann Helmandollar-Armatas


Understanding factors contributing to teacher burnout is important to understand so it can be prevented. Teacher attrition is on the rise and is directly affecting student achievement. To combat this prevalent issue in our schools today, districts and school leadership need to support and develop teacher self-efficacy. To do this, they need to provide support to their teachers through positive affirmation, checking in frequently, and providing proper time and resources needed for teachers to feel successful at their job. This qualitative study explored the contributing factors of early career teacher burnout. The research questions (RQ) for this study are as follows: RQ1: What do early career teachers grades PreK–8 in public schools identify as contributors to stress and burnout? RQ2: What factors do early career teachers grades PreK–8 in public schools perceive as contributing to their self-efficacy? RQ3: How do early career teachers grades PreK–8 in public schools develop self-efficacy? The data was collected through a single 20–30-minute interview with each of the 18 participants. This research examined several issues: (a) what teachers identify as contributing factors to stress and burnout, (b) what teachers perceive as contributing to their self-efficacy, and (c) how teachers develop self-efficacy. Results showed a lack of support, resources, and time led to their feelings of stress and burnout, and support from administration and the proper amount of time and resources to prepare their lessons contributed to higher self-efficacy levels. Research results were organized into three themes: Theme 1: Teacher Confidence; Theme 2: Teacher Stress Factors; Theme 3: Administration and District Support.