The Benefits Of Implementing Talking Circles In The Classroom

1920 words - 8 pages

I spent my volunteer experience with Dr. Geis’ special needs classroom at County Elementary School; and throughout my participation, the most defining observation was that of the teachers and staff members. Naturally, some employees are better than others at fulfilling tasks. However, as time passed, I noticed that certain employees had difficulty starting each day fresh, free of the pressure and tension that may have accumulated from the previous day. I only volunteered a couple of times a week so my ability to wipe the slate clean was easier. Nevertheless, I can understand how taxing and repetitive the process can be for the full length of a school year. According to the National Commission on Teaching about, “one-third of all new teachers leave after three years, and 46 percent are gone within five years” (Kopkowski). The relatively high attrition rate of teachers is known as teacher burnout. Teacher burnout can be attributed to both physical and emotional factors which may include, “classroom disruptions, inadequate salaries, oversized classes, overbearing parents, excessive paperwork, cutbacks in supplies or materials, threats, harassment, assaults, violence, or problems with co-workers or with administrators” (Campbell). The National Commission on Teaching estimates costs up to, “$7 billion a year, as districts and states recruit, hire, and try to retain new teachers” (Kopkowski). Teacher burnout is financially and socially affecting schools, communities, and society. The purpose of this paper is to identify factors that may lead to teacher burnout, acknowledge the effects of the issue, and provide solutions to better manage the stress of teaching.

In The Relationship Between Student Behaviour Patterns and Teacher Burnout, Richard P. Hastings and Mohammed S. Bham studied the effects that student misbehavior can have on teacher burnout. The England conducted study consisted of one hundred elementary school teachers that participated in a questionnaire. More than 80 percent of the classroom teachers were female, and on average the teachers were 35 years of age with an educational experience of nine years. Over 30 schools participated in the research, which covered a wide range of demographics. The survey primarily focused on student behavior in the classroom and the burnout inventory. The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) is designed to measure emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment; it is the leading method used to measure burnout (Mindgarden.com). A specific version of Maslach Burnout Inventory can be used to determine the condition of teachers and staff members in an educational setting. According to Hastings & Bham, “teachers are considered to be burnt out if they evidence feelings of emotional exhaustion, attitudes that tend to depersonalize students, and low levels of personal accomplishment in their work” (116). The results of the study indicate that while student misbehavior in the classroom greatly...

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