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Some teachers say they’re too burned out to teach summer school

Amanda Peacher Jul 7, 2021
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What might that mean for teacher retention in the fall? Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images

Some teachers say they’re too burned out to teach summer school

Amanda Peacher Jul 7, 2021
Heard on:
What might that mean for teacher retention in the fall? Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images
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School districts are having a hard time convincing teachers to give up their summer vacations, at a time when student enrollment for summer school is expected to be at an all-time high.

“This is the first time in over 30 years where I have not taught in some form or fashion during the summer,” said Sheena Graham, a high school performing arts teacher in Connecticut.

She said she feels broken after teaching last year — “just physically, mentally exhausted.”

She also said that she’s going without air conditioning to save money, since she’s giving up her summer salary. But even a bonus wouldn’t have lured her to the classroom, Graham said.

That’s what some districts are doing: Maryland’s Montgomery County is paying a bonus of up to $200 a week for teachers, and those in Anderson, South Carolina, are paid nearly double their hourly salary for summer school.

Teacher retention tracks with the overall job market, said David Rosenberg with the nonprofit Education Resource Strategies. This fall, “it is entirely possible that some districts will see more attrition, more turnover this year,” he said.

With lots of non-teaching jobs out there, it’s a big unknown if educators will stick around.

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