Teachers are the backbone of our future. With every lesson they teach and every word they speak, they hone and refine the skills of our younger generations to pursue their passions and change the world. Sadly, despite their vital role in contributing to the world’s success, data evidently unveils that America hasn’t been treating them too well. According to the Wall Street Journal, recent data reveals that between February 2020 and May 2022, 300,000 public school teachers and staff resigned from school grounds. Additionally, further research conducted by The National Education Association Poll in 2022, unveils that teachers were 55% more likely to leave their field early, exhibiting a stark contrast from 2021, where that percentage was 37% lower.
Many may question, “Why is it that so many teachers are leaving?” To simply answer that, there isn’t a definite answer as to why. However, through numerous conducted studies, we can conclude that there are two main reasons for this: low income and burn-out.
In 2019, PDK (Phi Delta Kappa) International surveyed over 500 public school teachers, in which 60% of them said their pay was unfair. Sadly, this data is further proven to be true when taking a look at an interview held by CNBC of an anonymous teacher. “I work 55 hours a week, have 12 years’ experience, and make 43,000. I worry and stress daily about my classroom prep work and kids,” they state. Furthermore, another teacher mentions, “After working in my profession for five years, my annual income is 30,000 before taxes, I will never be able to own my own home at this rate.”
Although the severe low income of teachers is a salient component to the shortage, people often overlook the exhaustion teachers face. This is also known as “teacher burn-out.” Recently, U.S News has reported that in 2022, 44% of K-12 workers stated to always feel burnt out. However this data is no surprise when considering the additional responsibilities of teachers. For instance, data exhibited by The Wall Street Journal, reveal how 44% of teachers at public schools reported teaching vacancies throughout the school year, along with their regular tasks.
With that being said, if America continues to exploit teachers, more and more of them will eventually submit their pink slips of resignation. As innovating humans, we should be fighting for the rights of our educators.
<NoahKang Cupertino HighSchool 10th Grade