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Dr. Jane Finn, Education

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With growing signs of burnout along with increased compassion fatigue reported in teachers, we were interested in studying whether this burnout and compassion fatigue begins to show during the student teaching semester. This semester occurs during the last semester of the pre-service teacher's undergraduate studies. This semester should align with the "real world of teaching", and set up individuals to get ready to enter the field.

Current research shows a correlation between teacher burnout symptoms to teaching enthusiasm levels. Analysis of previous research proved that gender, seniority, and the teacher burnout symptoms of emotional exhaustion and a decreasing sense of personal accomplishment were significant predictors of both teaching and subject enthusiasm (Dağyar & Kasalak, 2022). Additionally, research by King and Wheeler (2019) explores the "dark side" of interpersonal communication allowing students to open up about traumatic personal experiences and the stress that can lead to compassion fatigue in teachers. Furthermore, Ziaian-Gafari and Berg's (2019) qualitative research explored compassion fatigue and burnout, which both appeared when general education teachers worked with students with exceptionalities or those students with trauma. Compassion fatigue has been shown to affect one's health-related quality of life negatively (Jackson et al., 2021).

Looking at this previous research, we were interested in exploring when this compassion fatigue begins to show during teaching. Specifically, our research questions are: (1) Do pre-service teachers show signs of compassion fatigue during the student teaching semester? (2) Do pre-service teachers report needing additional assistance (such as mentorship or counseling) during the student teaching semester? To explore these questions, we gave the standardized survey, The Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQLS) to 55 pre-service student teachers in Spring 2022. Our poster will dive into the qualitative results.

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