American Federation of Teachers seeing more educators retire after the COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 10:53 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - After a challenging year for teachers, officials said they are seeing more educators retire than in previous years.

Officials with the Birmingham chapter of the American Federation of Teachers said they are hearing from many educators that are burnt out after the pandemic.

AFT official Sheila Jones said many educators are retiring because they don’t want to continue virtual and in person teaching. She said other complaints are that teachers are worried about their own health and not wanting to continue working in a crowded environment. With retirement rates increasing, Jones said she worries of a teacher shortage for next year because she said not many young people are looking to go into teaching.

Because of the Covid slide, Jones said many teachers are also frustrated with losing their off time to teach summer school. She said it is like an extended school year.

“Every summer, most teachers look forward to having that time to take a breath and purge yourself of all the things that go on at schools, so you gear up for next year,” Jones said. “But this has been an extremely hard year and now we are going into the summer with many teachers teaching programs this summer to try to reach students and bring them up.”

Jones said a frequent complaint she hears from teachers is about pay.

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