New survey: 1 in 5 teachers won’t return to the classroom this fall

Some teachers might not return in the fall

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A recent USA Today survey says 1 in 5 teachers will not return to the classroom this fall in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far, school leaders in Tarrant, Hoover, Jefferson County and Walker County said none of them is experiencing a shortage in teachers because of this pandemic.

But one representative from the Alabama Education Association said she wouldn’t be surprised if there is a shortage this fall, once teachers know more about how the upcoming school year will operate.

“There are some teachers who are going to make the decision to leave the profession now because they’re unsure of what it will look like in the fall,” said AEA Representative for District 28, Tracee Binion.

She said with so many unprecedented moments during this pandemic, some teachers may not feel comfortable returning to a traditional classroom.

“They don’t want to go into uncharted territory, or maybe they have their own health concerns and health concerns for their families that they just don’t want to go back into the classroom,” Binion said.

Binion said some of the teachers she’s spoken to are waiting to hear the plan for how schools will reopen before making the decision to stay or go.

But state Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey said that plan is still in the works.

“We’re developing that plan right now. Again, were working on our road map back to school. It’s, right now, a 70-page draft, and we’re working through that to get it released mid-June. We’re working closely with public health, and also with experts across the country, to make sure that we have very good choices,” Dr. Mackey said.

Binion also said this pandemic may bring in a new generation of teachers who are attracted to the idea of a virtual learning model.

But right now, school leaders said there are still so many unknowns, so we’ll have to wait and see how this virus progresses, before making any definitive choices.

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