Friday 5: Teacher stress

Key points:

Educators have never had an easy job, but teacher stress and burnout are at chart-topping levels in schools across the nation.

Securing new hires and maintaining educator retention remain challenging, and teacher stress seems to have ballooned in the wake of the pandemic as teachers juggle learning loss, student mental health, behavioral issues, equity, and more.

Let’s take a look at some of the main factors impacting teacher well-being and stress today:

Teacher stress

Teacher burnout is, unfortunately, not a new phenomenon. But since the global pandemic and its total disruption of the education system, teacher stress is no longer seasonal but an ever-present state for many teachers, leading many to examine teacher burnout statistics. And even with the return to in-person learning, we’re still seeing how deeply teacher burnout impacts every aspect of the classroom–from academic outcomes, to teacher and student well-being, to staffing shortages and educators leaving the profession. Read more.

Why is teacher burnout so high?

The American Federation of Teachers teamed up with Educators Thriving for a yearlong study culminating in a new report, “Beyond Burnout,” which details practical, research-based solutions to improve the chronic levels of stress and burnout that are plaguing teachers and support staff in K-12 schools and contributing widespread teacher shortages. The report highlights the numerous challenges facing educators and causes of teacher burnout, and proposes a slate of strategies and solutions to address them, including several factors that reliably predict educator well-being: responsive leadership and supportive culture, acceptance, adaptability, personal well-being, and a professional-growth orientation. At the core of these solutions is a call for connection, collaboration, and commitment from leaders to support the well-being of educators so that they can, in turn, support their students. Read more.

Why has teaching become so stressful?

Teaching has always been a stressful profession, but since the pandemic it has become even more so. Nearly three out of four teachers say they experience frequent job-related stress, and 59 percent say they’re burned out. The effects of teacher stress are causing many to leave the profession, and this is affecting the ability of school systems to recruit and retain highly qualified teachers. In fact, new research suggests that the teacher shortages many districts have experienced since COVID have only gotten worse in many cases—and they weren’t just a function of the pandemic. Read more.

Why are so many teachers quitting right now?

While finding their work meaningful, a majority of education professionals experience burnout above the national average, according to a recent study. In fact, more than 20 percent plan to switch to a related field and more than 30 percent look to change careers altogether. Seventy-five percent of respondents believe their workload has been impacted by staffing shortages and 70 percent state the industry’s workforce has yet to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Sometimes, reasons involve teachers quitting because of student behavior. Read more.

Can teachers recover from burnout?

In the current educational environment, there seems to be extremely high levels of staff stress, burnout, and generally low morale. Many education leaders are seeking to identify the stages of teacher burnout. In education, where the success of students is intricately linked to the motivation and dedication of faculty and staff to go the extra mile, elevating employees’ well-being is not only a humane thing to do, but a crucial component of improving employee morale. Several things can be done to improve employee morale through an intentional focus on well-being. Read more.

Laura Ascione
Latest posts by Laura Ascione (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *