Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Schools face a “Great Resignation” with educators leaving classrooms

Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Education sophomore Hannah Witty listening to Dr. Rieger’s lecture in English 201. His class is one of the requirements for educators to get their degree.
Photo by April Styer

As schools and businesses reopen, employers are struggling to get back to “normal” in their businesses. One profession feeling the pinch is education.

School districts are battling to keep up with the demand for educators in schools, including the need for substitute teachers, cafeteria staff and janitorial staff.

In an interview with Inside Higher Ed, Texas A&M University professor of business Anthony Klotz called this need for employees across the industries “The Great Resignation.”

“During the pandemic, because there was a lot of death, illness and lockdowns, we really had time and the motivation to sit back and look at life,” Klotz said.

Inside Higher Ed author Ray Schroeder blames the mental health strain of the COVID-19 plague and its life-changing toll on employees, and especially on educators.

“Workers are quitting at or near record levels,” Schroeder said. “This may be a good start in designing online short courses, stackable certificates and programs that can lead to a degree.”

English education junior Amelia Mathena said her passion for teaching is why she decided to become an educator.

“I am not going into teaching for the salary, because it just isn’t there,” Mathena said. “You have to truly have the love for the students along with the subject you are teaching.”

Mathena says she does not see teachers resigning over low pay, though it is a factor. She believes teachers have left due to stringent health protocols of getting quarantined and fear of being exposed to COVID-19.

Education sophomore Hannah Witty(in front) and Education junior, Amelia Mathena listening to a lecture by Dr. Rieger. English 201 is just one of the many English classes education majors have to take.
Photo by April Styer

English education sophomore Hannah Witty credits one of her own teachers in motivating her to become an educator.

Witty thinks teachers could be resigning their positions because of the low pay and believes some teachers left because the administration was not supporting their faculty when COVID-19 forced schools to close.

The Great Resignation has compelled school districts to reevaluate policies regarding COVID-19 restrictions and mental health help, according to the Inside Higher Ed article.

To learn more about “The Great Resignation” and how it has affected educators, visit The Quartz and The Guardian.