Educator Burnout

Overworked, Undervalued, Attacked

Educators are overworked.

An October 2021 survey of CEA members showed that more than half said that this school year is significantly or somewhat worse than last year, when they were forced to learn how to teach in both remote and hybrid settings during long quarantine periods. Almost four out of five report that the substitute teacher shortage is significantly worse compared to last year, putting additional pressure on educators. There was overwhelming dismay at the lack of resources and few professionals to help deal with students with much higher academic, mental health, and behavioral needs than ever before.

Educators feel undervalued.

Survey participants expressed extreme despair at how state elected officials and school districts view them. In fact, only 1% reported that they feel “very valued” by state elected officials and 10% said the same about their school district. On a more hopeful note, more than two-thirds feel “very valued” by their colleagues. Almost six out of ten said adequate pay and benefits was the most important factor to feel valued and respected as an educator; the second was autonomy to do their job without interference.

Bar chart showing how CEA members feel valued from various groups including elected officials, community, school district, and coworkers
Tree map showing the factors that CEA members said was most important to feel valued

Educators are under siege.

Educators are often on the receiving end of bitter political vitriol that has become common across the state and nation. In virtually every school district, educators have been caught in the middle of vicious debates over the role of race in school curriculum and about COVID-19 health/safety measures.

This kind of community unrest prompted Eagle County Sheriff’s Office to dispatch deputies to elementary and middle schools on the first day of school to “keep the peace”. Many educators feel upset, personally attacked and unsupported by those who have the power to help.

What Educators Are Saying

“The mental and physical stressors are too high. I can make more money in a less taxing environment.

What Educators Are Saying

“Retirement is calling, but I would consider getting out if I was new to this profession. Low pay and an impossible workload would drive me out.”

What Educators Are Saying

“The amount of disrespect for my humanity and disregard for my safety is appalling.”

What Educators Are Saying

Working conditions are untenable. Lack of support and feeling undervalued this year is even worse than last year.”

What Educators Are Saying

There’s too much pressure to be perfect. We’re constantly answering to expectations of new legislation, parents, principal, etc.”