Teachers Quit In Droves Over Covid Rules

File photo: Ninjanabe (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Florida teacher Jessica Smith put in her resignation earlier this month over the stress and “paranoia” that comes with live-streaming to scores of students.

Aug 29, 2020

Newsweek – Veteran K-12 teachers in states across the U.S. are resigning and retiring at higher rates as schools begin reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic this fall, with educators citing the stress tied to remote learning, technical difficulties and COVID-19 health concerns.

Several teachers who recently resigned, retired, or opted out of their jobs ahead of pandemic reopening efforts say leaving their kids has been hard, but remote learning has made their jobs too difficult.

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One Florida teacher said she became paranoid due to the constant requirement of being live-streamed to dozens of students throughout all hours of the day.

And an Arizona high school science teacher said he resigned from a job he loves after his district voted to return students to in-person classroom learning—creating a health risk he and many other teachers say they aren’t willing to take.

In New York State, teacher retirements are up 20 percent from 2019, according to data from the New York State Teacher Retirement System. About 650 teachers filed for retirement between July and early August alone.

A number of K-12 teachers said much of the joy they received from personal interaction with students has been undermined or eliminated altogether by teaching through a computer screen rather than a classroom.

“I had to consider the health of my family. I am a science teacher. We gather evidence and we make decisions. If there is competing data, we look at both and weigh them,” Kevin Fairhurst, who resigned from his teaching position at Arizona’s Queen Creek Unified School District on August 13, told Healthline.

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“The data from the experts in our health field suggested we should not yet be teaching in person because of the potential for this to cause more outbreaks.”

A St. Petersburg, Florida, teacher of five years, Jessica Smith, put in her resignation earlier this month over the stress and “paranoia” that comes with live-streaming to scores of students. Read more. 

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