“Today my mom told me 26 teachers are quitting from her school after this year,” wrote Angela AKA @wokeSTEMteacher, from Chicago, Illinois, on Twitter. This included all of the kindergarten teachers, all of the fourth-grade teachers, all of the fifth-grade teachers, and all teachers for first grade, second grade, and third except for one each. Unfortunately, this mass exodus of teachers is becoming increasingly common. And many teachers who haven’t left yet are considering it.
“More than half of teachers plan to leave”
In January of this year, the National Education Association (NEA) polled over 3,000 teachers and nearly all of them stated burnout is a serious issue. It’s no wonder, with 86 percent watching fellow educators quit or retire early after the pandemic began. As a result, 80 percent had increased work obligations because of these open teaching roles. Plus, 55 percent plan to leave or retire from their teaching career earlier than they expected. Furthermore, 62 percent of Black teachers and 59 percent of Hispanic teachers are planning to leave earlier than originally planned.
Meanwhile, the previous poll from August 2021 showed that only 37 percent of teachers wanted to leave. Most of them opted for simple fixes, like raising the depressingly low pay, hiring more teachers and support staff, and creating more student mental health support. 
“Last summer, I started traveling across the country,” said Becky Pringle, president of the NEA, which has almost 3 million members. “Without exception, every stop I made, from Kentucky to Oakland, I heard those similar stories of educators who were exhausted, overwhelmed, feeling unloved, disrespected.” 
What is the reason for this mass exit?
In the case of @WokeSTEMteacher, the 26 teachers are leaving because the new principal is “on a power trip” and doesn’t support them. “The principal implemented a rule where students had to stand up with their hands behind their heads after eating lunch (called assuming the position) to make sure they’d stopped eating when lunch was over,” said @WokeSTEMTeacher. Unfortunately, many departing teachers relate to dealing with a problematic and out-of-touch administration. 
Then there’s the pay, which is pitiful. For example, @BigTParker has a master’s degree and over 20 years of teaching experience. And still he earned more as a delivery driver. “I made more doing Instacart during the pandemic, working on average 34 hours a week, than I did any year of teaching. I’ll never go back.”