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As politicians push schools to be open in person without sending them the money needed to do it safely, more than half of teachers don’t feel good about their district’s health and safety precautions during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent report. That’s not the only disturbing finding in the Horace Mann Educators Corporation survey of 1,240 K-12 teachers around the country.

More than one in four teachers said they are considering retiring early, taking a leave of absence, or otherwise leaving their jobs. Their reasons for being unhappy on the job aren’t limited to worries about health and safety—though fearing for your life will tend to sour a person on a job.

Three out of four teachers also said they are working more now than a year ago, and 60% enjoy their jobs less. This pandemic—and the ways every level of government has mishandled education during the pandemic—could end up driving many experienced teachers out of teaching, whether in the short term or a couple years out when they can’t recover from their burnout and sense of how little they are appreciated.

A 41% plurality of the teachers surveyed said they were teaching in person, 27% are teaching online, and 32% are in hybrid arrangements.


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