The Oklahoma Education Association sent out a survey to their members across the state. Frustrated, stressed and exhausted are some of the word’s teachers used to describe the school year so far.
Teachers were asked various questions about the start of the school year and how COVID-19 is affecting their work and wellbeing. New and experienced teachers from across the state participated.
“It was so shocking to see several different issues,” said Katherine Bishop Oklahoma Education Association president.
A survey revealed many teachers don’t feel supported as COVID-19 continues to impact the education system.
“The gut-wrenching fact was to know the exorbitant percentages of students that have already tested positive as well as staff members that have already tested positive thiss chool year,” said Bishop.
OEA surveyed 815 educators. The average stress level on a scale of 1 to 10 was 6.4.
“Our educators, our teachers, our support professionals our administrators are exhausted. Senate Bill 658 has created havoc and chaos for our schools, and you see it in our survey. Stress levels are high,” she said.
Six percent of participants said they plan to retire early, and another 15% said they are looking for a job in another field.
“We need leadership at the state level. We need leadership that is going to protect our students learning environment and our personnel working environment and it has to come from the top,” said Bishop.
Another issue highlighted, the substitute shortage across the board. Only 8.7% said their schools have enough guest teachers.
“We have got to pull together like we did last year, and it is for the good of the whole that we have to come together and help support our students and support our educators each day,” she said.
The OEA is encouraging a consistent COVID-19 protocol statewide.