Burnout, stress affecting most Maryland teachers, survey finds
By Matt Small
Large class sizes, high stress levels, grueling burnout and staffing shortages weigh on an overwhelming majority of teachers in Maryland, according to a survey.
The Maryland State Education Association said “a crisis with unmanageable workloads, attrition among peers, and the inability to hire enough staff in all school positions” is so widespread that educators are more likely to leave the profession or retire early.
A survey of 4,746 public school employees, including teachers, education support professionals and administrators, all of whom are members of the association, found:
- 96% of educators say staffing shortages are a serious or very serious concern;
- 92% of educators say their workload is a serious or very serious concern;
- 91% of educators say burnout is a serious or very serious problem;
- 60% of educators are more likely to leave the profession or retire earlier than they expected due to the pandemic.
“Too many students cannot get all the individual attention they need; the rewarding relationships that should develop between educators and students are less likely to form, and staffing shortages continue to grow,” the Maryland State Education Association said in a press release.
The survey also found:
- 61% of educators said they would be somewhat or much more likely to stay in the profession if class sizes could be reduced;
- 90% of educators said the ability to reduce class sizes would somewhat or greatly improve their working conditions.
State law prohibits teachers’ unions from negotiating class sizes during contract negotiations, but survey results suggest that “making class sizes negotiable could have a significant impact on educator retention and working conditions.” of work – as well as increased individual attention for students”.
House Bill 890, which is pending in the Maryland General Assembly, would no longer consider the issue of class size as a prohibited topic during labor negotiations.
Cheryl Bost, president of the Maryland State Education Association, said her group is urging lawmakers to pass the legislation.
“The ability to negotiate class sizes…can help us tame unsustainable workloads and ensure our days are focused on what matters most: giving each student the individual attention they deserve,” Bost said.
Maryland is one of nine states where class sizes are prohibited during labor negotiations, according to the association. The other states are Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Nebraska, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
The Maryland State Education Association said the poll was conducted on its behalf, between Jan. 14 and Jan. 22, online by the National Education Association. He surveyed 4,746 public school employees who are all MSEA members and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.39 percentage points.
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