Teachers across the United States are retiring or retiring early as schools have reopened for the new academic year and Covid-19 cases among children have risen in recent weeks as some states ban mask mandates. 

More than 200,000 weekly cases have been reported among children in the last five consecutive weeks, and most cases have spread to areas without school mask mandates and low vaccination rates, as vaccines for children under 12 years of age are still are pending federal approval. 

Several schools and school districts have been periodically forced to shut down in-person learning due to Covid exposure or high infection rates, leaving teachers struggling to continue their lessons through interruptions. 

The teacher shortage in the US was already a growing problem before the Covid-19 jobs 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 the remaining teachers overworked. 

In Florida, teacher vacancies increased by more than 67% compared to August 2020 and increased by 38.7% from August 2019. Amanda Tower, an elementary school teacher in Collier County, Florida, quit school from 2021 to 2022. , That will be the beginning of his 12th year of education. 

She has consistently stopped implementing the Covid-19 Safety Protocol in school districts, classrooms are cramped and poorly ventilated, students do not need to wear masks, and often enter the classroom when sick. , Said the teacher received. Serious rejection from scientific denials. She said curriculum changes, training, and new mandatory steps due to misunderstandings and guidance from the government were other reasons for 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.” 

Approximately 10% of Rhode Island Providence teachers either resigned or left the city’s school district before the beginning of the school year. At public schools in Michigan, teacher retirement increased by 44% in the middle of the previous school year between 2019 and 2020. In Fort Worth, Texas, the school district had a 314 teacher vacancy earlier this year, compared to 71 in the pre-pandemic 2019-2020 school year. 

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.” 

In addition to teacher vacancies, US schools are facing food supply shortages and are having trouble finding enough bus drivers, custodians and other support staff. Many also face a shortage of substitute teachers, who are needed now more than ever to cover teachers who are sick or in quarantine. 

At least 378 active teachers have died from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, along with hundreds of other school workers. Various surveys have shown that teachers are more likely to leave the profession due to worsening stress and burnout during the pandemic, along with pre-existing problems such as lack of resources and low salaries. 

 Source: The Guardian