“Burnout is a professional hazard” (Kottler and Zehn, 2000:98). Teaching is known as one of the most stressful professions. There are three reasons why teachers burn out. Emotional exhaustion is the first element. It is the result of emotional and physical overextension. Trying to do too many things in a short time, in other words, the amount of work that has to be done within a time limit can cause emotional exhaustion. The next factor is depersonalization, which means being cynical, frustrated and critical when teachers have negative attitudes towards their colleagues. The lack of personal accomplishment is the third one. Feeling discouraged and disillusioned are the signs of burned-out teachers as they are dissatisfied with their own needs for challenges, recognition and appreciation. There is no full satisfaction in their job. Humphreys (1996:8) says that burnout is the reason of personal vulnerability and occupational stress.
“Locus of control is one major construct of motivation” (Czubaj, 1996:372). Internal and external are the two types of locus of control. While the internal locus of control is defined as “a state of belief that one’s behavior determines the events of one’s life”, external locus of control is regarded as “a state where one feels the events are beyond one’s control”. These issues are concerned with self-determination theory. Self-determination theory highlights the three psychological needs — competence, autonomy and relatedness which are universal. Satisfaction of these needs produces positive outcomes (Deci and et al., 2001: 932). Environmental factors that impede and weaken self-motivation, social functioning and personal well-being are studied in self-determination theory (Ryan and Deci, 2000b:69).
And yet I have mentally drafted one sentence of my application to extend for a second year, although I have not decided, necessarily, to do so. Something like “Though it is cliche to say so, few things are more worth doing than teaching. Although I have found it an extremely difficult thing to do, I’m not ready to quit.” Or go back to school.