Wayne County Education Association President Amber McCoy was interviewd by NPR’s Anya Kamenetz regarding a recent poll on teachers leaving the profession. You can access the full article below.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va ”Our morning emails every day start with the vacancies that have been unfilled,” says Amber McCoy, who teaches fourth grade. “[It] will tell us where we have staffing shortages in the building and [ask] us to step in in any way or any time that we can.” She says it’s less the 20-year veterans like herself and more the young teachers that are leaving, or considering leaving. “This is just not what they bargained for,” McCoy says. “I also mentor new teachers in my county and one of the girls that had done some clinical work in my classroom, she called me and she just said, ‘Is it normal for me to cry every single day after school?’ And I said, ‘Honey, it’s not normal. But this year it’s not uncommon.'”
Teachers are picking up slack for absent colleagues. They’re covering for unfilled positions. And 55% of them say they will leave teaching sooner than they had originally planned, according to a poll of its members by the nation’s largest teachers union. The National Education Association poll, conducted in January, helps quantify the stress being placed on educators right now. It found that the number who say they’ll leave the profession sooner has risen significantly since August. Among the NEA poll’s other findings:
- 90% of its members say that feeling burned out is a serious problem.
- 86% say they have seen more educators leaving the profession or retiring early since the start of the pandemic.
- 80% report that unfilled job openings have led to more work obligations for those left.