Huge Workload, Low Pay: Close to Half of California Teachers Thinking About Leaving the Profession

Another union oriented propaganda piece.  Now where does it take into account real professional teachers that do not like to be groomers.  Nor does it take into account real professional educators that want to teach history, not teach students to be racists and bigots.  Real math teachers want to teach math instead of two plus two equals four is a white supremacy construct.  Teachers want to give homework—while administrator are telling them that is proof of white supremacy, even if the teacher is black.

““Close to half of teachers are thinking about leaving the profession in the next three years,” said Tyrone Howard, co-faculty director of UCLA’s Center for the Transformation of Schools, which produced the report in collaboration with the California Teachers Association and Hart Associates.

Researchers polled more than 4,600 TK-12th grade teachers across the state between May 24 and June 6. The findings show that while many teachers find their work rewarding, a majority said they felt exhausted and stressed — with burnout cited as the top reason for leaving the profession.”

Did they even ask about grooming kids for sex in the 1st grade or middle school students to admit that are oppressors if they are white and superior people if they are of color?

Huge Workload, Low Pay: Close to Half of California Teachers Thinking About Leaving the Profession

Alexander GonzalezBrian Watt, KQED,   10/3/22  

Amid significant teacher shortages in school districts throughout California, a new survey (PDF) of thousands of educators depicts a profession marked heavily by burnout and job dissatisfaction.

“Close to half of teachers are thinking about leaving the profession in the next three years,” said Tyrone Howard, co-faculty director of UCLA’s Center for the Transformation of Schools, which produced the report in collaboration with the California Teachers Association and Hart Research Associates.

Researchers polled more than 4,600 TK-12th grade teachers across the state between May 24 and June 6. The findings show that while many teachers find their work rewarding, a majority said they felt exhausted and stressed — with burnout cited as the top reason for leaving the profession.

The findings come as many large and small districts across the state scramble to fill significant teacher vacancies in their schools, part of a longstanding problem made worse during the pandemic.

Other factors impacting teacher retention include heavy workload, low pay and escalating living costs, with some 80% of survey respondents saying it was difficult to find affordable housing close to where they teach. Many also cited a lack of support from district administrators. And a significant portion of teachers of color and LGBTQ+ educators surveyed said they had experienced discrimination.

Howard recently discussed the survey with KQED morning host Brian Watt. Here’s an excerpt of their conversation, which has been edited for brevity and clarity.

BRIAN WATT: Tell us more about the findings and how they relate to keeping teachers in the classroom.

TYRONE HOWARD: So these data were deeply troubling on a lot of levels because we know the pandemic has really been difficult for a lot of folks — educators included. But these data really lifted up how teachers are exhausted, stressed, frustrated (and) overwhelmed. In many ways, I think these educators are telling us that they’re beyond burnout.

I remember feeling like teachers were stressed, exhausted and overwhelmed before the pandemic. Do you think that the pandemic just made these trends worse or more evident?

It’s not an “either/or.” I think it’s a “both.” Our data show about 77% of our respondents saying that things have changed for the worse, compared to where they were prior to the pandemic. And I think during the pandemic, the general public got a bit of a sense of what it meant to educate young people, because lots of parents and caregivers were doing that at home. So I think there’s been a larger awareness that the general public cares about the difficulties of teaching.

One of the other things that struck me in this survey is the experience of teachers of color, in particular. Just over 60% of Black teachers and half of Asian American and Pacific Islander teachers reported having experienced racial discrimination in their current position. What does this tell you about school support?

What it tells me is that we have a lot of work to do. Because, on the one hand, we talk about creating inclusive and supportive spaces for our students, but yet we’ve not done that as adults when it comes to our staff. My concern becomes, if the adults don’t feel safe, what does that say for the students who are from those same ethnic and racial backgrounds? So there’s a lot of work that needs to be done with regard to how we create truly inclusive, safe and affirming spaces for all educators, regardless of their ethnic or racial backgrounds.

What might an episode of racial discrimination for a teacher of color look like?

It can manifest in so many different ways — implicit and explicit.
From an explicit standpoint, what happens in schools is that frequently teachers of color are the primary advocates for students of color. And so when there’s an issue of what some might perceive as unfair treatment, when there’s an issue of what some might consider to be overlooking or under-serving certain students of color, it’s typically the teacher of color who says, ‘Wait a minute, that’s not fair. That’s not what we should be doing as educators.’

When they raise those issues, oftentimes they are quick to be shut down and told that those things aren’t real, or they’re quick to be told that you only are concerned about the Black students or the Asian students, or they’re told that you need to mind your business. So they’re told to stay in their place and keep quiet.

‘We talk about creating inclusive and supportive spaces for our students, but yet we’ve not done that as adults when it comes to our staff.’Dr. Tyrone Howard, co-faculty director, UCLA’s Center for the Transformation of Schools

From an implicit standpoint, it happens where teachers of color are sitting in meetings and they raise questions or they ask about issues. But yet there’s no recognition of those points. There’s no affirmation of their concerns or this subtle sort of passing-over of those teachers of color for leadership opportunities. What we learn from this data is that those Black teachers and those Asian American teachers said that they feel like they can’t be their authentic selves. And that’s deeply troubling because we say we want to have a more diverse teaching field here in the state of California. But if these are the experiences of many teachers of color, we’re not doing well to attract more folks of color into the profession.

Given the results of this survey in the findings, how can retention be improved, especially among teachers of color?

The data are very clear about what educators think are important. No. 1 is better pay, (which) would go a long way to increase teacher satisfaction. We know that smaller class sizes would be another step in the right direction. A number of the educators that we spoke to said that strengthening discipline policies around disruptive behavior would be a step in the right direction.

And as it pertains to teachers of color, we know that there is an ask for a greater focus on diverse and inclusive workspaces. That means we have to have leaders in schools who are willing to talk about the racial ethnic makeup of our schools, and talk about how we can best support teachers across the ethnic and racial spectrum.

You’ve mentioned that many people take pay cuts in order to enter the teaching profession. Are you worried that the sentiments this poll uncovered are going to deter even the most inspired people from giving teaching a try?

Absolutely. That’s one of the underlying concerns that I have. While this gives us a snapshot of the current state of affairs for educators, there are also some key points that may scare folks off. One of the data points that was really disturbing for me is that a significant number of teachers said they oftentimes don’t make a living wage; they are not having their basic needs met. So if you’re someone who really wants to make a difference in our society by way of teaching, and you hear things like, “I’m burned out, I can’t make a living wage. I’m constantly under attack from my political beliefs. I don’t feel supported,” … that’s not going to really sort of excite people to enter into our profession.

This is not only about a “here and now” moment in terms of education. It’s about what our field looks like in the next five to 10 years.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Huge workload? I wonder what it consists of? Lots of regs and paperwork, I bet.

    One thing my kids have experienced: you finish a section of a class and take a test. You start the next section of coursework. Two, three or more weeks later you finally get your corrected test back.
    That NEVER happened when I was a kid. The test showed if you had mastered the material.
    Getting the test back promptly was a key part of the learning process.
    1) If you knew something, you got feedback by seeing a high test score
    2) if you were shaky in your knowledge, you also got feedback
    3) by seeing the test questions reviewed in class you locked in knowledge of the right way to do things. And, what the teacher was looking for. And, what set of questions were likely to pop up on a Final exam.

    By delaying the test return, none of these good things happen.

    • When my Mom taught the tests had to be back in 48 hours.

      When I taught the tests had to be back in 48 hours if it was a final. If it was a mid term…24 hours.

      Now most tests are on a optical scanner…no excuses for not having them back quickly……

      There you go….

      Today is a different animal, teachers have no authority, it burns them out, and why care since if the students get bad grades the parents complain. Heaven help them it you say study.

      Should I talk about grade inflation that destroys learning?

  2. Bernie Reis says

    From what I’ve heard from my high school grandsons and grammar school grand nephews about the behavior these teachers have to put up with involving students and parents, the trash they are required to promote and all these gender garbage with identification and pronouns etc. I would quit and go into tutoring via zoom at your home and skip all the lefts Agenda and trash!

  3. Dee Sutherland says

    I have quit jobs for the same reason. Just a part of life I suspect

  4. Both good points!
    We parents/grandparents need to organize and send them packing.
    Let the teachers quit if they like. And where else are they going to find a job that pays that well.
    Enough!

  5. The union ethic has destroyed public education.
    “Do not work too hard, you make the other teachers look bad”.
    Charter schools are the answer. Convert every public school into a business. Provide the public with what they want and they will pack the house. Reward educational excellence and get rid of dead wood tenure. Good teachers will rise to the top and our kids will get the education they need to succeed.

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