Background and Objective:Job stress is one of the most important reasons that reduces the efficiency and quality of education. Job stress can also be the result of various factors such as lack of required resources, volatile job position, etc., which subsequently and gradually cause short-term or long-term negative consequences with physiological characteristics. Burnout is also a consequence of job stress, which first appeared in the United States in the 1970s and then gradually in many other countries and different occupations. This study aimed to examine factors that may influence burnout among English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers of public schools and private language institutes in Iran.
Methods: To address this objective, both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis procedures were applied. Quantitative data were collected from 180 teachers from both public schools and private institutes through Maslach Burnout Inventory. Also, qualitative data were gleaned through conducting individual, semi-structured interviews with 10 of the participants (5 teachers from public schools and 5 instructors from private institutes).
Findings: The results of independent samples t-test showed that private institute teachers were in a significantly worse condition in terms of burnout in comparison with their public school counterparts. On the other hand, the results of analyzing the content of the interviews revealed that economic conditions, job security, social status, lack of motivation, and lack of serenity were the main factors contributing to burnout among EFL instructors in private institutes, while lack of motivation and variety in the education process were the only factors causing burnout among teachers in public schools.
Conclusion:The results showed that environmental factors such as demand and job resources are very effective in reducing or increasing job burnout. Given the positive factors affecting the reduction of burnout in public schools, policy makers in language schools will also be able to design and implement remedial programs to reduce burnout in private school teachers. As a result, the difference between the two learning environments is greatly reduced and the quality of teaching is increased to an acceptable level. In addition, the results showed that teachers who are more successful in their emotional interactions and relationships with others in the workplace are more likely to manage their work stress. Staff at the Ministry of Education, while emphasizing the factors that reduce the risk of job burnout, should also try to address the few factors that cause this problem among English teachers in schools.
©2019 The author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, as long as the original authors and source are cited. No permission is required from the authors or the publishers.