Teacher Stress in Urban Classrooms: A Growing Epidemic


  • Leslie Schmidt The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Stephanie Jones-Fosu The University of North Carolina at Charlotte


About half of educators in the field have reported experiencing excessive amounts of stress several days a week, but this issue is even greater for teachers in urban schools. Urban teacher stress is due to a number of unique variables such as lack of resources, student behavior and disrespect, unattainable goals while teaching students below grade level, and lack of support both financially and emotionally. As a result, teacher stress not only affects the teachers themselves but also their students in urban settings. This research paper reveals the cause and effects of 121 urban teachers’ stress, including student academic performance and behavior, and explores solutions to help reduce the amount of stress urban teachers endure. In a review of this correlational study, levels of teacher stress and burnout were identified using Likert-type scales and their students’ academic achievement in reading and math were measured with the Woodcock-Johnson III Test of Achievement to determine the impact of stress. This critical issue in urban education must be brought into the spotlight soon or students will greatly suffer as our country continues to lose qualified, motivated novice teachers to stress. Keywords: urban schools, Title I, stress, teacher, burnout