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US teacher turnover rate hitting highs; shortage fueled by pandemic

Being a school teacher may have been one of the toughest jobs during the past year.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought disruptions to face-to-face learning, with curriculums being shifted to a hybrid of online learning and in-person.

Teachers are facing increased pressures looking after the well-being of students and making sure the learning doesn’t stop. And then there’s the risk of infection with the reopening schools.

In Asia, it was surprising to hear that schools in the Big Apple also faced challenges with remote learning.

In the United States, school teachers have left the workforce in unprecedented numbers. Many school districts currently do not have the ability to fill the teaching gaps as children return to the classrooms.

In Michigan, teacher retirements are up 44% since August.

“The pandemic is a game-changer. I think there’s going to be record retirements,” said Dwight Pierson, a teacher at St. Johns High School who is thinking about leaving public education.

According to a recent Education Week survey, 73% of school districts revealed that while their need for substitute teachers was more critical in 2020, 74% of school administrators surveyed said the number of applicants for substitute teacher positions dropped.

That said, schools in the U.S. are actually hiring. As most sectors are struggling to recover from the pandemic business slowdown, teacher job openings are 2% higher than pre-pandemic levels, economist AnnElizabeth Konkel, told Axios.

LEARNTech Asia
LEARNTech Asia showcases innovation in learning in Asia. We feature stories and resources in online learning, workplace learning, adult education, EdTech, and creative solutions by teachers and trainers in learning institutions, non-profits, and enterprises that enhance human capacity and inspire communities of lifelong learners.