July 20, 2024

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American teachers are stressed out, burned-out, and underpaid

2 min read

Summer means school’s out. And this year, teachers are likely just as thrilled as students—if not more so, judging by the results of the 2024 State of the American Teacher Survey, released on June 18, which finds that educators are among the most stressed, burned out, and unfairly compensated workers in society.

The survey, from the nonpartisan nonprofit Rand, found that teachers feel all three pain points at about twice the rate of comparable working adults, defined as aged 18 to 64 with a bachelor’s degree and at least a 35-hour work week. And roughly three times as many teachers reported difficulty coping with the work-related stress.

They attribute a majority of their stress to managing student behavior, administrative work outside of teaching, and low salaries—base pay is roughly $70,000 compared with $88,000 for their similar working counterparts, prompting only 36% of teachers to consider their base pay adequate, as compared with 51% of those other working adults. 

That’s especially frustrating considering the many hours required, with teachers reporting working nine hours a week more than similar working adults, for an average of 53 hours of work per week.

The fourth annual Rand State of the Teacher survey is a nationally representative, annual survey of 1,479 K-12 public school teachers across the U.S., supported by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA) and presented using findings from a separate 2024 American Life Panel companion survey of 500 working adults.  

‘Conditions, compensation, and culture wars’

Among Rand’s other findings:

  • Women reported significantly higher rates of frequent job-related stress and burnout than teachers who are men, which is a consistent pattern since 2021.
  • Black teachers were less likely to report experiencing job-related stress than white teachers—but were significantly more likely to say that they intend to leave their job at…

Beth Greenfield

2024-06-18 00:01:00

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