More Than 50% of Teachers Want to Quit Their Jobs, Including Iowans
There have been employment shortages all across the country since 2021. Teaching positions are no exception.
When there's a lack of educators, they don't get breaks. They have to watch over classrooms that aren't theirs. They have to teach classes they never have before. Pile that on with the fact that they're with rowdy children, and it's not difficult to see why they may be struggling to keep going in their chosen careers.
In a survey put together by the National Education Association (NEA), "A staggering 55% of educators are thinking about leaving the profession earlier than they had planned. ... This represents a significant increase from 37% in August and is true for educators regardless of age or years teaching."
The article put out by the NEA continues: "However, the poll found that a disproportionate percentage of Black (62%) and Hispanic/Latino (59%) educators, already underrepresented in the teaching profession, were looking toward the exits. Eighty-six percent of members say they have seen more educators leaving the profession or retiring early since the start of the pandemic in 2020. ... 91 percent say that pandemic-related stress is a serious problem for educators and 90 percent of members say feeling burned out is a serious problem, with 67 percent saying it's very serious."
Sara Earleywine at Hoyt Middle School in Des Moines spoke with KCCI about the issue at hand, saying that she is all too frequently asked to cover classrooms -- whether she's taught the given subject or not. She added that her cohorts are really having a difficult time continuing their jobs:
To lose that passion for a job is incredibly sad. So, it just makes me sad when I have great educators come to me and say, 'I just can't do this anymore. I just want to go to an office, sit in a cubicle and do my job.'
Kevin McDermott of the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) had this to say to KCRG in November of 2021:
They feel burnt out. I have said this for years, teachers make it work. Lack of resources, they will get it done. This is the first time that they’ve said ‘I can’t do this anymore.'
KCCI also added that "the omicron surge is impacting substitutes, school nurses, bus drivers, and other staff members," as well.
The national survey concluded that there are several ways to address the issue: "respondents pointed to higher salaries, providing additional mental supports for students, hiring more teachers, hiring more support staff, and less paperwork."