Teacher burnout is regarded as a serious problem in school settings. To date, studies on teachers’ stress and burnout have largely centred on teachers’ own characteristics, socialisation, and behaviours, but few have explored the connection between teachers’ burnout and students’ motivation via their own perceptions of teachers’ behaviour and emotional well-being.
In a study, published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology, researchers concluded that, “It is likely that teachers can influence students’ motivation in education not only through instructional styles but also through their own outward emotions and motivation” and “it is important to improve teachers’ working conditions and classroom environments.” They also add that there is a need for school systems to offer comprehensive workshops addressing stress and time management, relaxation training, and coping skills to strengthen teachers’ resources for resisting burnout.
The study adopted Maslach et al.’s (2001, Annu. Rev. Psychol., 52, 397) job burnout construct and self-determination theory to investigate the relationships between teachers’ burnout and students’ autonomous motivation over one-semester physical education classes and explored a total of 1,302 high school students and their 33 physical education teachers in 20 high schools from two school districts in a major Midwest metropolitan area in the United States. The two school districts were demographically similar.
The dimensions of teachers’ burnout might play different roles in the transmission from teachers to students. Teachers’ status of burnout is an important environmental factor associated with students’ quality of motivation.