New Georgia education report examines causes of teacher burnout

ExploreTeachers: the thrill is gone

The task force included the 10 finalists for Georgia’s 2022 Teacher of the Year, as well as classroom teacher representatives from the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, the Georgia Association of Educators, and educators from ‘on board. The task force meetings were overseen by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia, which also compiled the report.

The teachers shared a wide range of views, starting with the tests. Sample Responses: “Time taken from teaching time to administer assessments reduces valuable teaching time; therefore, students are not getting the instruction they need.

Another theme of the report: Too little time. “The workload is almost unmanageable during the hours when we are actually in school. Many of us have to ‘donate’ our time just to do what is expected of us.”

And those demands have worsened with the pandemic, where teachers have said the pressure to “return to normal” has come with an unrealistic expectation that student learning and achievement will immediately return to pre-pandemic levels. pandemic without giving them the time, support, resources and compassion to meet students at their current grade level.

The main areas of concern identified by the task force are:

Evaluation: While high-stakes testing requirements have been reduced at the state level to be more in line with federal testing requirements, the number of district-level tests has increased. The state, local school districts, and school leaders must work collaboratively to catalog, assess, and reduce testing and preserve instructional time.

Preserving and protecting time: Making up for lost in-person instructional time due to the pandemic is critical to the state’s school resumption. Teacher planning and teaching time must be treated as sacred for this recovery to be successful and effective in the future.

Unrealistic pressures and expectations: Teachers have long struggled with unrealistic expectations that ultimately hinder student success. Coming out of the pandemic, the desire to “get back to normal” has also been accompanied by an unrealistic expectation that student learning and achievement will immediately return to pre-pandemic levels, without giving teachers the time, support, resources and compassion to meet their students. where they are.

Teacher voice and professional growth: Teachers are on the front line and have a direct impact on student learning. The state, local school districts, and school leaders should work collaboratively to reinvent an education system that engages the voice of teachers and treats teachers like professionals.

Mental health and well-being: Just as it has created stress for students and families, the pandemic has both contributed to additional stressors and exposed existing stressors and non-academic barriers to teachers and their work. The state, local school districts, and school leaders must work collaboratively to provide a stable and supportive environment where teachers and teacher morale are valued.

Amanda J. Marsh