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Teachers have many instructional, behavioral and classroom management, and administrative responsibilities (Cormier et al., 2021; Hilger et al., 2021; Roeser et al., 2022). There is limited research on occupational therapy's role in teacher wellness. This study aimed to assess the challenges and barriers that Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) teachers face, the causes of burnout, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on AAPI teachers' wellness. This study used a mixed methods research design, including an online survey and semi-structured interviews, focused on the challenges, barriers, strengths, and needs that AAPI teachers face in public, middle, and high schools in California. Themes from the data included (1) strengths and challenges as an AAPI teacher, (2) challenges and barriers from a systemic level, (3) the impact of COVID-19 on teachers, and (4) work overload. A strength of AAPI identity was having a cultural connection to AAPI students compared to their non-AAPI colleagues. However, AAPI teachers still face discrimination in the workplace. Teachers reported having a lack of support from administration, funding, and resources to reduce class sizes, increase teacher collaboration, disperse excessive tasks among other staff, and implement more helpful solutions. Results from the findings identify the potential role of occupational therapy in advocating for teacher support, workplace wellness, supporting work performance and satisfaction, implementing burnout-prevention strategies, and promoting teachers' wellness and quality of life.

Publication Date

Fall 12-8-2022


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


Asian American and Pacific Islander, COVID-19, occupational therapy, occupations, teachers, educators, teacher wellness, workplace wellness, education, burnout, mental health, middle school, high school, public school

Medical Subject Headings

COVID-19, Occupational Stress, Psychological Burnout, Mental Health, Occupational Therapy, Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, School Teachers, Qualitative Research


Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching | Occupational Therapy | Online and Distance Education | Secondary Education and Teaching


Poster presented at the Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences December 8, 2022

Assessing Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Teachers’ Workplace Wellness



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