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Workplace Culture

For teachers, pandemic adds new stresses

Meghan McCarty Carino Feb 25, 2021
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A new report from the Rand Corporation shows the toll stress takes on those in the profession, and how the pandemic has made things worse. John Moore/Getty Images
Workplace Culture

For teachers, pandemic adds new stresses

Meghan McCarty Carino Feb 25, 2021
Heard on:
A new report from the Rand Corporation shows the toll stress takes on those in the profession, and how the pandemic has made things worse. John Moore/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Public schools in Los Angeles are set to resume in-person classes for students with special needs next week after almost a full year of distance learning. Officials are in talks with the teachers union to work out a broader school reopening.

Around the country such discussions have gotten tense, putting teachers at the center of a heated debate. A new report from the Rand Corporation shows the toll stress takes on those in the profession, and how the pandemic has made things worse.

Annie Tan has always considered her job as a special education teacher in New York City high stress. Even before the pandemic, she constantly felt like she was making up for limited resources with her own money and time.

“I remember getting kicked out at 9:30 p.m. by the custodian, and then I come back at like 7:30 the next day to go teach,” Tan said.

The job was also emotionally demanding.

“We’re school counselors, we’re nurses, we’re all of these roles,” she said.

The Rand survey found stress was the leading cause of teachers leaving the profession before the pandemic — a bigger issue than pay. And COVID has only made things worse, said Rand researcher Heather Schwartz.

“I do think that these data point to the need to really take seriously how stressful this job appears to be and to find ways to help reduce that stress,” Schwartz said.

About a quarter of current teachers said they planned to leave teaching at the end of this school year, which would be three times the normal rate of attrition.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

Give me a snapshot of the labor market in the U.S.

U.S. job openings in February increased more than expected, according to the Labor Department. Also, the economy added over 900,000 jobs in March. For all of the good jobs news recently, there are still nearly 10 million people who are out of work, and more than 4 million of them have been unemployed for six months or longer. “So we still have a very long way to go until we get a full recovery,” said Elise Gould with the Economic Policy Institute. She said the industries that have the furthest to go are the ones you’d expect: “leisure and hospitality, accommodations, food services, restaurants” and the public sector, especially in education.

What do I need to know about tax season this year?

Glad you asked! We have a whole separate FAQ section on that. Some quick hits: The deadline has been extended from April 15 to May 17 for individuals. Also, millions of people received unemployment benefits in 2020 — up to $10,200 of which will now be tax-free for those with an adjusted gross income of less than $150,000. And, for those who filed before the American Rescue Plan passed, simply put, you do not need to file an amended return at the moment. Find answers to the rest of your questions here.

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