American teachers are stressed, and Donald Trump is making that worse.
A new survey conducted by the American Federation of Teachers and grassroots activist organisation Badass Teachers Association (BATs) found that many teachers across the US are feeling the strain of the Trump administration’s education policy, on top of what is already a stressful gig.
The 2017 Educator Quality of Work Life Survey drew upon the views of some 5,000 educators, finding that teachers reported having poor mental health for 11 or more days per month – twice the rate of the US workforce overall.
Many teachers reported “limited feelings of respect, control and influence in their work.” Having a stressful workload, lacking resources, and the burden of ever-changing expectations were all contributors to stresses of the teaching profession.
“Since President Trump took office, stress and anxiety in schools [are] on the rise, and we now have a secretary of education who educators in our survey overwhelmingly feel does not respect them,” reads the report.
“State and federal cuts to education spending will only make things worse.”
While educators felt respected by their colleagues and that they had moderate to high control within their classrooms, their level of reported influence dropped significantly regarding policy decisions about their classrooms such as performance standards or deciding how resources are spent.
A vast majority felt that US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos does not respect them.
“The first step toward reducing educator and student stress is to find out what is happening in our schools, and to build good, collaborative labour-management relationships,” concludes the report, noting that strong teacher unions are important for educators’ wellbeing.
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