Educators’ confidence in the education profession has declined throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a K-12 instructional technology provider.
Just 40% of the survey’s 1,200 respondents said they were confident in their profession this year, down from 49% in 2020.
These findings confirm other surveys showing educators are dissatisfied with their work. A June poll by the American Federation of Teachers found teacher dissatisfaction jumped from 45% to 79% since the beginning of the pandemic.
Educators are also considering leaving the profession, as 40% of AFT members said they may leave their jobs in the next two years. Half of school leaders recently surveyed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals are also considering a career change or early retirement.
To make the teaching profession more appealing, 90% of educators in the HMH survey said there should be improved salary and benefits, and 67% said there needs to be more support for well-being. Additionally, 64% said they need adequate funding for classroom supplies and resources.
“It really reinforces the need to have adequate resources,” said Francie Alexander, chief research officer at HMH.
A recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute also found the wage gap between teachers and college-educated professionals in other fields has worsened over time. When adjusted for inflation, average teacher wages only increased by $29 between 1996 and 2021, while weekly wages rose by $445 for other college graduates within the same time frame, according to EPI.