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‘Exhausted and underpaid’: teachers across the US are leaving their jobs in numbers – The Guardian

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Unsafe Covid protocols, disrupted schedules and overwork are driving teachers out the schoolhouse door
Last modified on Tue 5 Oct 2021 12.08 EDT
Teachers around the United States are quitting or retiring early as schools have reopened for the new academic year and Covid-19 cases among children have surged in recent weeks in the face of some states banning mask mandates.
There have been more than 200,000 reported weekly cases among children in the past five consecutive weeks, with most cases spreading in areas with no school mask mandates in place and low vaccination rates, as vaccines for children under age 12 are still pending federal approval.

Several schools and school districts have periodically been forced to close in-person learning because of Covid exposure or high infection rates, leaving teachers struggling to continue their lessons through the disruptions.
A shortage of teachers in the US was already a growing problem before the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in high poverty schools. The shortage has worsened during the pandemic. Some schools have closed when too many teaching positions could not be filled, while others grapple with higher than normal teacher vacancies, leaving remaining teachers overworked.
In Florida, teacher vacancies this year increased by more than 67% compared with August 2020, and a 38.7% increase from August 2019.
Amanda Tower, an elementary school teacher in Collier county, Florida, resigned from her position before the 2021-2022 school year, which would have been the start of her 12th year of teaching.
She said her school district stopped consistently applying Covid-19 safety protocols, the classrooms were tightly packed and poorly ventilated, students were not required to mask and often came into class while sick, and teachers were receiving significant pushback from science deniers. She said changes in curriculum, training, and new mandated procedures with poor communication or direction from administration were further reasons that prompted her resignation.
“I needed a change for my physical and mental health and that of my family, some of whom have conditions that make them vulnerable to Covid. There was a lack of transparency in the reported numbers and the push to do business as normal. It was all far too much,” said Tower. “I did not want to be a martyr. I loved my job. I’ll miss my kids, but I can’t pour from an empty vessel.”
Nearly 10% of teachers in Providence, Rhode Island, either quit or retired early from the city’s school district before the school year began. Public schools in Michigan saw a 44% increase in midyear teacher retirements this past school year over the 2019-2020 school year. In Fort Worth, Texas, the school district had 314 vacant teacher jobs at the beginning of this school year, compared with 71 at the 2019-2020 school year, before the pandemic.
Bethany Olson, a high school teacher in Kentucky, resigned from her teaching position in August 2021 after losing her father to Covid-19 in June.
“Covid made it untenable to continue,” said Olson. “The reality is that school cannot truly be safe during this pandemic because we have so many who can’t, or won’t, get vaccinated, and we’ve returned to overflowing classrooms as if the pandemic has ended.”
After 19 years, Leigh Hart resigned from her elementary school teaching job in Maryland before the start of this school year, citing aggressive parents during the pandemic and insurmountable workloads.
“At some point the realization hits you that you’re giving way more than you’ll ever get back,” said Hart. “I love the kids. I love the challenge and the realization that you actually can make a difference. But it’s truly disheartening to know how little you’re valued.”
In addition to teacher vacancies, schools around the US are facing food supply shortages, and are having trouble finding enough bus drivers, janitors and other support staff. Many also face shortages of substitute teachers, who are needed now more than ever to cover for teachers who are out sick or quarantined.
“They don’t give us numbers or report it but we see in our buildings how we’re all needed to sub for missing teachers. It’s way more than normal,” said Steven Singer, a middle school teacher in western Pennsylvania. “I, myself, was in and out of the hospital last week due to my Crohn’s disease. The stress of the pandemic is taking a toll on me and all of us. We’re just at a breaking point. This crisis for teachers didn’t start with Covid. We have low pay, low respect, low autonomy, and no one listens to us. Now we’re being forced to risk our lives and our health.”
At least 378 active teachers have died from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, along with hundreds of other school workers. Several surveys have shown teachers are more likely to leave the profession because of worsening stressand burnout during the pandemic, coupled with pre-existing issues such as a lack of resources and low pay.
Cathy Bullington, an elementary school art teacher in Bedford, Indiana, is preparing to retire early because of the difficulty of teaching during the pandemic and because teachers have been left out of the decision-making processes, problems that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
“Teaching during the pandemic has been the most difficult thing I have had to do in my 30-year teaching career. Nothing prepares you for this. We had no plan for this and now the plan keeps changing,” said Bullington. “Teachers are leaving because they are exhausted, stressed and underpaid. We have had a lot more demands put on us.”

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Muhammad Mubeen Hassan

Hi. I am Muhammad Mubeen Hassan. I am SEO Expat and WordPress Websites Developer &  Blogger. 30 years old. I help entrepreneurs become go-to in their industry. And, I like helping the next one in line. You can follow my journey on my blog, for list Click Here If you need any post so you can email me on my this Email: mubeenh782@gmail.com  

Hi. I am Muhammad Mubeen Hassan. I am SEO Expat and Wordpress Websites Developer &  Blogger. 30 years old. I help entrepreneurs become go-to in their industry. And, I like helping the next one in line. You can follow my journey on my blog, for list Click Here If you need any post so you can email me on my this Email: mubeenh782@gmail.com  

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Realm Scans: Navigating the Uncharted Territories of Digital Discovery

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In the expansive landscape of digital exploration, there exists a realm where information becomes an adventure—Realm Scans. Beyond a mere scanning service, this digital haven is where curiosity converges with innovation, and the uncharted territories of digital discovery come to life. Join us as we embark on a journey to unravel the unique dynamics of Realm Scans, navigating through the realms where information is not just scanned but transformed into a digital odyssey.

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A standout feature is the user-centric approach that defines the Realm Scans experience. “Digital Horizons” explores how user interface design, accessibility, and intuitive navigation are seamlessly integrated to create an environment where users don’t just scan documents—they embark on a digital journey of discovery.

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As we navigate through the digital horizons of Realm Scans, the article becomes a celebration of the fusion between technology and user experience. It is a recognition that in the world of digital services, there are realms where functionality meets innovation, and where information is a gateway to new digital frontiers.

“Digital Horizons: Exploring the Essence of Realm Scans” is not just an article; it’s an ode to the tech enthusiasts, the information seekers, and the digital explorers who recognize the profound impact of a scanning service that goes beyond the surface. It’s an acknowledgment that in the realms of digital discovery, Realm Scans stands as a beacon, inviting users to embrace the transformative power of information in the digital age.

As Realm Scans continues to redefine the digital scanning landscape, “Digital Horizons” invites us to appreciate the nuances of a service that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary—an exploration where every scan is not just a document but a digital adventure waiting to be unfolded.

Harry Clam

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