January-February 2018 Issue
December 21, 2017

Feeling stressed? You're not alone

Source: NYSUT United

Educators are feeling considerably more pressured, disrespected and unsupported, according to a survey of nearly 5,000 educators by the American Federation of Teachers and the Badass Teachers Association.

While that's not exactly surprising, the numbers certainly are: Nearly two-thirds of educators reported they "always" or "often" feel stressed out — that's twice the level felt by workers in the general population.

"The majority of stress for teachers comes NOT from students, but from things outside the classroom like district bureaucracy, changing state mandates and the constant flux in testing and other requirements," said one respondent.

Why is this important? Districts that ignore the importance of educators' well-being may be faced with higher turnover, more staff health issues, and greater burnout — all of which lead to higher costs, less stability for kids and, ultimately, lower student achievement.

Interestingly, the survey found encouraging news in an oversampling of educators in two Central New York districts that are known for strong support programs and ongoing collaboration among educators, administrators, parents and the community. Educators from Solvay and North Syracuse reported significantly less stress and were less likely to leave the profession.

The polling found overwhelming support for labor unions: Ninety-five percent agreed that educators need strong unions to protect their interests.

The "2017 Educator Quality of Work Life Survey" included a random sample of 850 AFT members, plus 4,000 educators who responded to a public online survey.

Need help?

NYSUT Social Services is a confidential benefit offered to all NYSUT members. We can provide supportive phone consultation and referrals for services in your community. Call 800-342-9810, ext. 6206, or email us at socsvcs@nysutmail.org.

Stress chart: How often is work stressful for educators?

For the full report, visit http://bit.ly/2ik6V70