More than half of teachers are thinking of leaving their classrooms, NEA survey reports
That number is up from 28% in the summer of 2020, according to the survey.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Cheektowaga career coach Cathy Lanzalaco didn’t have any teachers asking for resume or job interview help up until three months ago.
“Now I have many of them all over the country and here in Western New York, I have five or six that I’m actively working with,” Lanzalaco said.
All of them told her they want to leave because of low pay, not feeling supported, increasing violence, previous COVID mandates making it hard to teach and unmanageable workloads.
“So teachers at all levels are finding other opportunities that didn’t exist before,” she said.
The National Education Association did a survey asking educators if they are thinking about leaving or retiring from the industry sooner than they had planned.
This January, 55″ of teachers said “yes.” That’s up from just 28% in July of 2020.
In New York State, it’s mostly retirements.
“Right now, we’re experiencing all the folks who were hired 20, 30 years ago and they’re now retiring (in mass amounts),” said Buffalo State Dean of Education Wendy Paterson.
Over at Buffalo State, Paterson says there’s been a slight decrease in education majors this year, but they’re also noticing a very different trend.
“We are also seeing strong enrollments from career changers, returning adults, from folks who are not the 18–21-year-olds,” Paterson said.
A lot of them are in their 30s and 40s, and were previously lawyers, engineers and doctors.
Last month, the state also made getting certified a bit easier by dropping a performance assessment test that was 80 pages long and cost students $300.
“We do know that some people left the state because that’s not required in other states,” Paterson said.
Buffalo State is also hoping to diversify the teacher workforce by expanding an urban teacher academy they began at McKinley High School to two more schools within the year.
Still, some worry about the state of education throughout the entire country with many thinking about leaving.
“It’s a really difficult time. I think the key is the collaboration between the parents and the administration and the teachers. If we can get that in alignment, I think the situation will improve,” Lanzalaco said.