Teachers are experiencing the highest rates of burnout than other full-time workers in any other industry, according to US-based management consulting firm Gallup.
In the US, K-12 and university workers top the list of the most burnt-out employees at 44% and 35%, respectively, knocking all the other industries out of the list. This translates to more than four in 10 teachers claiming they are “always” or “very often” burnt out at work.
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“Burnout rates among K-12 workers exceed those for healthcare and law enforcement workers, whose burnout rates have been featured prominently on newscasts since the pandemic began,” Gallup said.
The education sector also surpassed the burnout levels of retail employees, manufacturing employees, and professional service workers.
The Gallup research pointed to five root causes of worker burnout: unfair treatment at work, unmanageable workload, lack of role clarity, lack of communication and support from managers, and unreasonable expectations.
With this in mind, it no longer comes as a surprise that Australia is dealing with a growing teacher shortage as student enrolment continues to climb at a record rate. In fact, the demand for teachers is expected to exceed the supply of new graduate teachers by 4,100 between 2021 to 2025.
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However, the problem doesn’t just lie in the shortage crisis – but what’s happening with the existing teachers inside classrooms as well. The latest report into the health and wellbeing of Australia’s school leaders revealed that they work at least 55 hours a week, while a quarter of them take up to 60 hours a week.
The normalisation of this setup has led to almost half of the country’s teachers to consider leaving the job because of stress, burnout, and other mental health issues brought on by ever-increasing workloads. Burnt-out teachers are also 63% more likely to take sick leaves, which serves as an ever-important reminder that retaining staff is as crucial as employing new ones.