HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – A new survey conducted by the Connecticut Education Association shows Connecticut teachers are faced with stress, burnout and shortages.
According to the CEA survey of nearly 6,000 Connecticut educators, findings show a wave of dissatisfaction with working conditions, high levels of frustration and burnout, and other serious issues leading to teachers leaving the profession. The survey showed that 74% of educators say that compared to a few years ago, they are more likely to retire to leave the profession or retire early.
“Teaching has always been a difficult and stressful job with inadequate support and resources to meet students’ needs, a lack of professional respect, subpar compensation, and poor working conditions,” said CEA President Kate Dias. “While educators have been underpaid, undervalued, and under-resourced for years, the COVID-19 pandemic and the relentless attacks on public education and teachers further exacerbated these existing problems, leading to teachers leaving the classroom in droves and fewer students entering the profession, causing snowballing teacher shortages. We must all work together to make substantial changes that will solve these problems.”
Here’s a breakdown of some of the numbers from the survey:
- Six in 10 educators say public schools are headed in the wrong direction.
- 72% of educators are dissatisfied with their working conditions.
- Seven in ten are experiencing high levels of frustration and burnout.
- 98% of educators identified teacher stress and burnout as their top issues.
- 96% acknowledged staffing shortages in schools.
- 95% pointed to the rising number of teachers leaving the profession.
- 93% identified the lack of respect for teachers and students’ mental health.
The survey asked the educators what the ways are to attract and retain them. Their answers included higher salaries, respect, support, addressing student behavior, mental health, and benefits.
The teachers’ union represents more than 43,000 Connecticut eductors and says they’re bucking by the burden of large class sizes and teaching extra courses.
“The educator shortage is real and requires immediate attention,” said Dias. “If we want to keep educators in the classroom and encourage people to enter the profession, we need to offer higher compensation, pandemic pension credit, increased autonomy in the classroom, better working conditions, streamlined teacher evaluation, reduced standardized test burden, college debt relief, affordable housing so that educators can live in the communities where they teach, and other incentives to reduce burnout and demonstrate that educators are valued.”
“It’s time we show our teachers that we respect them, that we care for them and that we’re going to uplift the profession,” said Rep. Kathleen McCarthy (R).
“Education should be treated like an emergency room, with a dire need to improve and make sure that our students are getting all the best that we can give them,” said State Representative-elect Kevin Brown (D).
The survey of K-12 educators was conducted from October 18 through October 25, 2022.