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Teacher Resignation Rates Increase as a Result of Burnout
October 7, 2022
With the increase in student disciplinary issues, residual effects of COVID-19 and pent-up exhaustion amongst teachers, studies show a significant increase in teacher resignation rates nationwide. Classes began with unfilled positions and long term substitutes. Each campus deals with the shortage differently. Despite not operating with a full staff, Dr. Stephanie Bonneau, principal, said she is taking measures to alleviate large classes.
“In comparison to a lot of other schools, I believe that we are not that short,” Dr. Bonneau said. “It is unusual for us to start the year without all of our teacher slots filled, but we have paired teachers that can support each other, and I think that helps keep everything going smoothly.”
AP Psychology and Government teacher Stephanie Gresham said teacher resignation rates increased because of the psychological stress that various complications bring to campus staff.
“Teacher burnout is the sole reason for the increase in teachers leaving their professions,” Ms. Gresham said. “After the problems we’ve encountered these past few years, from COVID-19 and even the recent cyberattack, teachers have reached a point where they are extremely overwhelmed with their work. Yes, we love the students and environment, but it’s just crisis after crisis that makes the teachers want to pursue something new.”
Despite being one of the original teachers to open the school, Mr. Pedro Ortega resigned from his position as a foreign language instructor three weeks after the beginning of the school year as he transitions to be a financial advisor for Northwestern Mutual. His last day was Sept. 22.
“I’ve been setting up to leave teaching and look for a career that pays more; I was burnt out from teaching to be honest,” Mr. Ortega said. “I was here since they opened Legacy, so this has been all I’ve ever known. I never wanted to leave Legacy for another teaching position; I love Legacy. I’ve always liked the culture and teachers we have here. I just believe that teachers are underappreciated for what they do.”
With the continuous cycle of teachers resigning and moving mid-year, students are affected in a variety of ways, far beyond the obvious disruption in classroom instruction. Senior Aden Vu plans to pursue a career in teaching after high school, and finds motivation in being part of the next generation of teachers.
“Over the years, I have observed how hard Legacy’s teachers have worked despite the issues they have faced,” Vu said. “Since I’m graduating this year, I’m trying to figure out what I want to pursue, and seeing the decrease in teachers only motivates me to go into the educational field and do my part in reducing the teacher shortage.”
As a former Legacy teacher, Dr. Bonneau understands how overwhelming school complications can be for new teachers. With three long-term substitutes on campus, Bonneau works to limit any gaps in learning for students despite not having permanent teachers for those roles.
“It’s definitely unique being the principal of a school I once taught at–I love the students, and I love being around the teachers. It was a great group before and still a great group right now,” Dr. Bonneau said. “There are a lot of pieces that new teachers have to get used to, but I see that those who are new to campus are doing a fantastic job and are trying their best to keep up with everything.”