Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences




Burnout in the helping professions, including teaching, has been well documented for over fifty years and has been captured within two seminal models offered by Maslach and her colleagues. For this study we interviewed 22 teachers bi-weekly to determine whether these models captured their COVID-19 pandemic work experiences during the 2020–2021 school year. Only one teacher, however, left work on a medical leave and then returned to work after burning out, and therefore provided a case study of the processes of both teacher burnout and recovery under pandemic conditions. The existing models of burnout were upheld as salient in understanding the processes of burnout during COVID-19, with specific emphasis on the job dimensions of workload and values incongruence. In particular, the values of honesty and safety were salient within pandemic conditions. Evidence-based suggestions are provided to assist teachers in supporting not only their return to teaching but also their full and long-term recovery from burnout after the COVID-19 pandemic.