ECASD tackles teacher turnover post pandemic

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 9:19 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A recent study finds one in four teachers was considering leaving the job after last school year, citing stressful work conditions.

According to the 2021 State of the U.S. Teacher Survey conducted by RAND Corporation, teachers likely to leave their profession went up by nearly ten percent last school year.

The Eau Claire Area School District reports, while their teacher turnover rate is currently higher than they’d like it to be, it’s nowhere near the current national average.

During the pandemic, teachers reported frequent job-related stress and symptoms of depression at a much higher proportion than the general adult population. A study finds that in the last year, the highest ranked stressors for teachers included mode of instruction and health. Meanwhile, a third of teachers were also responsible for the care of their own children while teaching.

Human Resources Manager for the Eau Claire Area School District, Brandon Wick, says without a doubt it was a challenging year for staff. However, ECASD is not losing teachers at the same rate as other districts.

“We are actually seeing it pretty consistent from those past few years. A little bit higher but nowhere near the national average of that 25 percent,” Wick said.

Technical problems while teaching remotely, were linked to job-related stress, depressive symptoms, and burnout.

Eau Claire employees have access to a resource meant to help combat those feelings.

“Our employee assistance program has life coaching, crisis support, available 24 hours,” said Wick.

In addition, Wick says new staff members are automatically enrolled into their two-year mentoring program.

“It allows them to connect with a more veteran staff member,” Wick said.

Currently, ECASD has 16 openings posted for instructor vacancies.

According to Wick, the district is always hiring qualified teachers and encourages people to apply if interested. More so, he says substitutes are in high demand at this time, which is another shortage currently seen nationwide.

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