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Education

Utah’s Largest Teachers Union Is Worried About Teacher Burnout Ahead Of 2021-22 School Year

Photo of an empty classroom
iStock.com / Ridofranz
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“It's uncertainty, it's frustration, it's concern,” said Jay Blain with the Utah Education Association. “We had the hardest year ever — for most teachers.”

Last year was rough for teachers as they had to adapt to online or hybrid teaching, while trying to keep their students — and themselves — from catching COVID-19.

This year, they’re facing most of those same challenges, and Utah’s largest teachers union is worried about burnout when school starts this fall.

“It's uncertainty, it's frustration, it's concern,” said Jay Blain with the Utah Education Association. “We had the hardest year ever — for most teachers. [They’re] looking at having this happen again.”

Schools are starting off in-person, but if kids have to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19, some teachers may have to go hybrid again.

Despite all the obstacles, Blain said he’s not sure how much of an impact this coming year will have on teacher retention.

“I don't think we have a crystal ball to say, ‘You know, are we going to see a bunch of teachers leave?’” he said. “Will there be some that leave? Probably. Will it be waves and waves of teachers leaving? No one can predict that.”

Data from the Utah State Board of Education actually found more teachers stayed in their jobs last year compared to the previous five years.

Most students return to class later in August.

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