More than half of teachers may leave the profession

The pandemic has added a significant amount of stress to school teachers, according to research conducted by Bethesda, Maryland-based education information nonprofit Education Week, and more are thinking of leaving the classroom.

Its national survey of 1,000 kindergarten through 12th grade teachers and administrators found 54% of those polled said they were considering leaving the profession in the next two years, a 20% increase over pre-pandemic levels.

As evidence the pandemic and remote schooling have made a challenging job even more difficult, 84% of teachers polled reported their work is more stressful than before the pandemic and 37% said they are somewhat or very unsatisfied with their jobs. That is a dissatisfaction rate 2 1/2 times higher than administrators, according to Education Week.

Education Week said the dissatisfaction response indicates a disconnect between teachers and school district leaders. Teachers cite retirement, benefits, love for their subjects and seeing students succeed as top reasons to stay in the profession. Administrators cite positive school culture and supportive administrators as top influences on teachers.

“Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the report is that even while many teachers feel under appreciated and worn out, there are some concrete steps administrators can take to increase the odds they’ll stay, but it all starts with listening,” said Liana Loewus, Education Week editor.

Education Week has published several reports under the heading Retaining Great Teachers in a Time of Turmoil, which highlight ways administrators can bridge the gap with teachers, and strategies for retaining them.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2021 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up