Pandemic-related stress contributing to more educators stepping away
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is driving some teachers out of the profession. A new survey found of those teachers who have quit in the past year, more than 30 percent say the pandemic was the cause. That survey asked about 2,500 members of the National Education Association why they left their teaching positions. Thirty-two percent said the pandemic drove them to leave due to the stress of catching students up on what they’ve missed.
Jessica Ramsay is among those who stepped away from the classroom. She loves teaching, it just looks different for her now. Ramsay taught in schools for 18 years. She stepped away in May, saying it was draining.
“Making sure their needs were met socially and academically and emotionally while keeping them healthy was a huge pressure,” she said.
With new responsibilities and challenges associated with remote learning and COVID-19 pandemic protocols put on her and other teachers, Ramsay felt the time was right to move on. With nearly two decades of teaching experience under her belt, Ramsay didn’t want to let the feeling of burnout affect her love of teaching. So, she created her own tutoring program in her own home.
“I don’t have the pressure, I don’t have the advancement you now, where I have to be at a certain place because this is the next chapter. I don’t go to the next chapter until my kids...The kids lead the instruction,” she said.
As difficult as it was for her to step away, Ramsay hopes other teachers stay in the profession because students need them.
“It’s a hard job to do, but teachers keep on doing it. You’re doing a great job,” she said.
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