Purpose. The objective of the study was to determine to what degree general perception of self-efficacy protects general education teachers in Poland (educational stages II-IV) against professional burnout, and whether teachers of various subjects display any differences in this respect. Basic procedures. The study was carried out between April and June 2005 on a sample of 404 teachers (women n = 310, men n = 94). The diagnosis of the burnout syndrome was based on the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). The perception of coping competences in teachers facing professional stress was measured with the General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES) (Polish version) by R. Schwarzer, M. Jerusalem and Z. Juczyński. Main findings. Teachers are characterized by a high level of self-efficacy perception. Conclusions. As a factor preventing development of the three-dimensional burnout syndrome, perception of self-efficacy protects teachers against a loss of professional satisfaction, increasing emotional exhaustion and a tendency to depersonalize their pupils. Teachers of various subjects perceive the preventive role of self-efficacy differently.