Teachers retiring amid pandemic stress

Vacancies are making it hard to run in-person classes. And it may only get worse.

K-12 teachers are retiring at an unprecedented rate in Michigan. The culprit? The stress of teaching during an unprecedented school year.

According to state data, retirements increased by 44% between the 2019-2020 school year and this one. However, that data doesn’t take into account younger teachers who choose to leave the profession. Those numbers have reportedly been growing as well.

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School leaders point to several different reasons for the attrition – all of them pandemic related. Some teachers have been afraid to teach in person as infection numbers surged during the fall. Others are tired of teaching online, or of bouncing back and forth between in-person and remote classes.

The situation may be setting schools up to face an even bigger problem in the fall. Typically, districts begin hiring for the next school year in the late spring and summer. Hiring was already difficult due to fewer people pursuing teaching degrees.

“We’re getting squeezed on both ends,” said Comstock Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Thoenes in an interview with Bridge Michigan.

You can read the full story here.

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