A teacher’s job is to educate the young people who will shape our future world. What profession could be more important?
Yet a recent survey by Merrimack College shows that 44 percent of teachers indicate they are very likely or fairly likely to leave the profession within the next two years. Another 2022 survey by the National Education Association found that 90 percent of teachers think teacher burnout is a very serious or somewhat serious issue.
Teachers have faced many challenges before, but the last three years have presented a steady stream of challenges, from a global pandemic to heart-wrenching events happening around our world and close to home. In order to proactively prevent further teacher burnout and demonstrate that we value our nation’s teachers, this is the time to ensure we are surrounding teachers with support at all levels–from within the classroom to our greater communities.
Support in the Classroom
As Lloyd Hopkins, founder and director of the Million Dollar Teacher Project, advocates, “Education has a profound opportunity to reevaluate what the classroom looks like to advance achievement and well-being for all students. At the same time, classrooms need to be reimagined to take care of teachers’ mental, emotional, and physical well-being.”
Teachers need increased support within classrooms in order to effectively meet the evolving challenges and increased demands that teaching presents while avoiding teacher burnout. In most classrooms, there is only one teacher to meet the academic and emotional needs of 20 to 30 or more students. As Hopkins explains, there may be unique and deliberate ways to include volunteers and interns in classrooms, so teachers have increased levels of support.