Over half of teachers belonging to the U.S.’ largest teachers union said they are considering leaving their profession earlier than they had originally planned, according to a survey.
An “alarming” 55% of educators polled said they are planning to leave teaching earlier than they expected, citing staff shortages, pandemic stress and burnout, according to a National Education Association (NEA) survey. Nearly three-fourths of members said they have had to fill in for other colleagues because of staff shortages and 80% of members said educators have more school obligations because of unfilled job openings.
NEA President Becky Pringle said the pandemic has resulted in some of the “hardest school years in memory” which has led to exhaustion and burnout among America’s educators, according to a press release. She said there is an “unprecedented staffing crisis across every job category” which gives teachers less time for class planning and forces them to give up lunch to fill-in for colleagues out sick with COVID-19.
“While educator shortages predate the pandemic, particularly for substitute teachers and in hard-to-staff subjects such as math, science, special education, and bilingual education, these shortages have grown in the past two years and expanded to encompass other positions such as bus drivers, school nurses, and food service workers,” according to the NEA.
Pringle called the current situation an “exodus” that “elected leaders across the nation need to address … now.”
The survey was conducted by GBAO strategies and polled 3,621 non-retired NEA members from Jan. 14-24, 2022 with a +/- 1.6 percentage point margin of error.
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