Tennessee survey shows 22% of teachers unlikely to stay in education

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WVLT) -After more than a year of dealing with the impact of COVID-19, a study shows that many teachers are frustrated and consider other ways of working.

Professional educators in Tennessee conduct a survey each year in which they ask a series of questions of teachers. JC Bowman and his group compiled data this year which showed that 22% of those who responded said they were unlikely to pursue a career in education.

“Education is not a dying field, but right now we feel like we’re going through some really serious issues,” Bowman said.

In Anderson County schools, Ryan Sutton said there had been no unusual increase in the number of teachers leaving the profession. However, he said they are struggling to fill substitute teacher positions, citing many other available jobs that may pay better in the community.

Sutton said, “What has been budgeted for this year, we cannot necessarily change a rate of pay in government business and public education is government business. We are therefore struggling to fill these places. “

Along with other competitive paying jobs elsewhere, Sutton said a decrease in the number of teachers graduating from college is another thing that makes the hiring process more difficult.

According to the University of Tennessee, in 2016, they distributed 705 diplomas to education majors on the whole UT system. In 2020, that number fell to 568.

In the survey, there were anonymous comments that said things like “I feel underpaid and overworked”, “There must be something on the teacher’s plate” and “I would not advise anyone to become an educator “. These are just a few of the more than 200 responses received by the group.

Jack Tate is a trainer and teacher at Farragut High School. He said not everyone feels the same as some of the results.

“I don’t think there are any teachers in Farragut who want to leave the profession, I think they really like what they’re doing,” Tate said.

The apparent exhaustion comes amid a search for a new superintendent at Knox County schools.

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