Nearly one in four teachers say they may quit by the end of the school year — here’s why


Nearly one in four teachers in the U.S. say they may leave their job by the end of the school year, according to a new Rand Corp. survey.

Public school teachers in the U.S. who took the survey in January and February 2021 said they were twice as likely to experience job-related stress than the general employed adult population, and about three times as likely to experience symptoms of depression as the general adult population.

Further polling indicates that many people in the U.S. say their stress has increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This huge increase in stress for U.S. educators appears to be forcing some to rethink their current jobs.

“Teacher stress was a concern prior to the pandemic and may have only become worse. The experiences of teachers who were considering leaving at the time of our survey were similar in many ways to those of teachers who left the profession because of the pandemic,” author of the report and a policy researcher at RAND Elizabeth Steiner wrote. “This raises the concern that more teachers may decide to quit this year than in past years if nothing is done to address challenging working conditions and support teacher well-being.”

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The one in four U.S. teachers who now say they may leave by the end of the school year is much higher than it was prior to the pandemic when one in six said they were likely to leave their jobs, according to a new Rand Corp. survey.

RAND is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization.

Specifically, some of the stressful factors for teachers outlined in the survey were a discrepancy between preferred mode of instruction (in-person or remote), lack of assistance with technical work, and lack of implementation of COVID-19 safety measures.

Co-author of the survey and assistant policy researcher at RAND Ashley Woo wrote that supporting teachers through the COVID-19 pandemic will be key to keeping their mental health in good shape.

“Given that some pandemic-era stressors, such as remote teaching, might be here to stay, we think district and school leaders can support teachers’ well-being by understanding current working conditions and their need for a more supportive and flexible work environment.”


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