Teacher stress in rural middle schools:teachers' perceptions of three contributing factors
Davidson, Karen Voncille
AdvisorCoats, T. Linda
The purpose of this research was to examine rural middle school teacher’s perceptions of stressful factors present in their current position. Data was gathered from 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade teachers in the city and county schools located in O County, Mississippi. Two instruments were used for the study. The first survey instrument identified three stress factors (teacher workload, student discipline, and No Child Left Behind) and their relationship with teachers. The second instrument measured the degree to which the three stress factors were appraised as stressful. The data gathered in this study provided an awareness of factors that can increase understanding of teacher stress levels. The discussion of stress emphasized that what is perceived as stressful for one person may not be perceived as stressful for another. Results revealed that these teachers face some difficulties at their schools and in the classroom dealing with their emotional perspective or from the perspective of the children they teach. Furthermore, results indicated that rural schools offer a less stressful learning environment than urban schools. Just knowing some of the common stress factors can assist school systems and administrators in developing interventions to alleviate stress that may at some point lead to burnout.