The AFT and the Badass Teachers Association conducted a survey in 2015 in which 30,000 educators reported often feeling emotionally and physically exhausted at the end of the day. They cited as the primary workplace stressors the adoption of new initiatives without proper training or professional development, mandated curriculum and standardized tests.
In the 2017 survey, educators remain highly stressed, with the biggest difference between 2015 and 2017 being the jump in the number of days per month educators said their mental health was not good. In 2015, 34 percent said their mental health was not good for seven or more days in the last month. In 2017, that number climbed to 58 percent.
“Teaching is a tough job that carries with it high levels of stress, which obviously affects both students and educators. Stressful work environments can affect student achievement and educator effectiveness, and can be mitigated by a collaborative culture that respects educators and the work they do,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “The survey shows that a supportive work environment is vital to creating schools that are places where teachers want to teach and kids want to learn. These kinds of environments do not come about by chance—they must be intentional.”