SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES: On May 13, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) released a study on workplace stress for teachers, having collected surveys from 30,000+ teachers on what makes their job difficult. The results prove quite dismal: while 100% of respondents "strongly agreed" or "agreed" that they felt enthusiastic about their profession at the start of their career, that percentage has dropped to only 53% at this point in their career (and of that, only 15% chose "strongly agree").
Amongst major factors contributing to teacher stress, the survey results cite the adoption of new initiatives without proper PD (71%) and the negative portrayal of educators in the media (55%) as the two biggest factors. The survey results also identified the top three "everyday stressors in the classroom" as mandated curriculum, large class size, and standardized testing.
“We ask teachers to be a combination of Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Randi Weingarten, president of AFT, in an interview with Yahoo! news following the survey results' release. “We ask them to be mom and dad and impart tough love but also be a shoulder to lean on. And when they don’t do these things, we blame them for not being saviors of the world.”