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Teachers respond to recent survey finding half of Missouri teachers consider leaving the profession ‘often’ or ‘very often’

Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 10:02 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - More than half of Missouri teachers who responded to a recent educator wellness survey say they consider leaving the profession “often” or “very often.”

The Missouri State Teachers Association recently surveyed 2,800 teachers across the state, releasing findings from its 2021 Missouri Educator Wellness Survey earlier this week.

“This job is something that you don’t leave at the door, you take it home with you,” said SPS teacher Laura Mullins. ”As teachers, we know that mental health has to come first.”

The pandemic brought in lots of new changes when returning to a “normal” classroom, including behavioral issues with students.

“We are struggling to implement some things back in the classroom because we have a group of kids that aren’t ready to handle it yet,” said Mullins.

Around 2,800 educators responded to the teacher wellness survey, and 51% of teachers who responded say they “often” or “very often” consider leaving the profession.

”Educators are just passionate about helping kids, but it’s a lot to manage, especially with the demands coming down from above,” said Mullins.

She says the COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges for teachers, and frustration has built for educators who worked through the crisis with limited resources.

“The mental health programs have been expanded, but it’s not enough,” said Mullins. “We have a lot of kids that need to be served that still aren’t being served because we’re running out of counselors.”

Other notable findings from the survey include:

  • 62% of teachers say their job is more stressful this year than last year
  • 83% of teachers frequently or almost always feel stressed
  • 74% of teachers say their work is quite or extremely meaningful

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