Workers in K-12 settings are more likely than other workplaces to feel burned out.
More than 4 in 10 K-12 workers in the U.S. (44%) say they "always" or "very often" feel burned out at work, more than all other industries nationally, according to a new Gallup Panel Workplace Study. College and university workers have the next-highest burnout level, at 35%, with educators among the most burned-out groups in the U.S. workforce, Gallup revealed.
Within the K-12 employee population, teachers are the most burned out, at 52%.
Teachers are underpaid and have to spend additional time after hours preparing lessons. They have to deal with demanding parents, school boards, and students who misbehave or are even criminal.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made teaching even more difficult, introducing viruses into classrooms and contentious debates over masking and whether schools should be open or shut. Remote learning also has been extremely challenging for both teachers and students.
In March 2020, when the pandemic first began, 36% of K-12 workers reported feeling burned out very often or always, 8 percentage points higher than the 28% found among all other workers as a whole, Gallup reported. But this gap has since nearly doubled, with 44% of K-12 workers now reporting they feel burned out very often or always, compared with 30% of all other workers — a 14-point difference.
Burnout levels are higher among female K-12 workers than their male colleagues, according to Gallup. Male K-12 workers are significantly more burned out than their male peers working in other industries (38% vs. 26%, respectively).
Female teachers in particular are especially burned out, at 55%, with male teachers at 44%, according to the study.
Newer teachers also experience higher burnout levels than their more experienced colleagues, according to Gallup.
These results are based on the Gallup Panel Workforce Study, conducted Feb. 3-14, 2022, with 12,319 U.S. full-time employees, including 1,263 K-12 workers.
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