New Study Reveals That More Than Half of Teachers Are Ready to Quit Their Jobs

KCCI

The pandemic has been hard on everyone. Although a lot of attention has turned to health care workers who are literally saving lives, we cannot forget about the people who are having a huge impact on the next generation – teachers.

Many schools were closed and switched to online learning for at least part of the pandemic. Switching gears practically overnight was hard on our students, and we can’t even imagine how hard it was on teachers who had to set up classrooms in their homes and try to figure out how to keep the students’ attention through a computer screen.

Currently, most schools in the United States have reopened, but there’s another problem. Teachers want to quit their jobs. According to a recent study from the National Education Association (NEA), 55% of teachers want to quit teaching for good and find a job in a different industry. That’s almost twice as many teachers who said the same thing in July 2020.

An even higher percentage of black and hispanic teachers want to leave the profession. The survey found that 62% of black teachers and 59% of hispanic teachers want to quit teaching.

According to the survey, “For the small number working at schools that are not fully in-person, the cause is primarily staff shortages, rather than concern about COVID-19 rates. For educators, burnout and shortages are the biggest issues that require attention.”

According to the survey, 67% of teachers say feeling burned out is a very serious issue, and 90% say that feeling burned out is at least somewhat an issue.

The NEA has several ideas about how to address burnout. Educators support ideas including increasing salaries, hiring more teachers, providing mental health assistance for students, and reducing the amount of paperwork.

According to the survey, 74% of teachers say they have had to fill in for another teacher because of staffing shortages. The survey also found that half of teachers report that at least 10% of their staff was absent from school during the time they took the survey because they were exposed to Covid-19.

Sarah Earlywine is a math teacher at Hoyt Middle School. She still has a passion for teaching, but many of her fellow educators want to leave. She talked to KCCI about why her fellow teachers want to leave, what they’d rather be doing instead of teaching, and how that makes her feel as a teacher who still loves teaching. Watch the video below to hear what she had to say.

Does it surprise you that so many teachers want to quit? Do you know any teachers who are thinking about switching careers? What do you think could be done to help teachers enjoy teaching again?