While often fulfilling, teaching is one of the most stressful professions. Teachers experience high levels of stress due to constant pressure to perform, meet deadlines, and manage classroom behavior.
According to a 2017 survey by the American Federation of Teachers, 78% of teachers reported feeling physically and emotionally exhausted at the end of the day, while a 2019 survey by the RAND Corporation found that over 50% of teachers reported feeling stressed on a daily basis. The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future also reports that up to 50% of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years of teaching, which costs school districts approximately $7.3 billion annually.
But what is the cost of this stress to school districts? Let’s explore the impact of teacher stress on school districts and why addressing this issue is crucial.
The High Cost of Teacher Turnover
One of the most significant costs of teacher stress to school districts is teacher turnover. When teachers are stressed, overworked, and burnt out, they are more likely to leave their positions. This not only leads to a loss of experienced educators but also to additional costs associated with recruiting, hiring, and training new teachers.
According to a report by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, the cost of hiring a new teacher can range from $4,000 to $18,000, depending on the district and the subject area. This cost includes recruitment, hiring, and training expenses.
According to a report by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, up to 50% of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years of teaching. The Learning Policy Institute estimates that teacher attrition costs school districts approximately $7.3 billion annually.
These data points highlight the significant impact of teacher stress on both individual educators and school districts as a whole. It’s clear that addressing this issue is crucial for improving teacher retention rates, student achievement, and overall school performance.
The Impact on Student Achievement
Teacher stress can also have a significant impact on student achievement. When teachers are stressed, they may be less effective in the classroom, leading to lower student performance. Additionally, teacher stress can lead to absenteeism, which can further impact student achievement.
According to the study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, students who had a teacher with high stress levels scored lower on standardized tests by an average of 4 percentile points, even when controlling for factors such as student demographics and school characteristics.
The Cost of Health Care
Teacher stress can also have a significant impact on health care costs for school districts. When teachers are stressed, they may be more likely to experience health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and mental health issues. These health problems can lead to higher health care costs for school districts.
According to a study by the American Psychological Association, work-related stress costs U.S. employers approximately $300 billion annually in health care costs and lost productivity. This cost includes both direct expenses, such as medical treatment, and indirect expenses, such as absenteeism and reduced productivity.
The Importance of Addressing Teacher Stress
Given the high cost of teacher stress on school districts, it’s clear that addressing this issue is crucial. There are several steps that school districts can take to help reduce teacher stress and improve teacher retention rates.
One of the most effective strategies is to provide teachers with adequate support and resources. This can include professional development opportunities, mentoring programs, and access to mental health services. Additionally, school districts can implement policies that prioritize teacher well-being, such as flexible work schedules and reduced class sizes.
Another important strategy is to create a positive school culture that values teacher input and promotes collaboration. When teachers feel valued and supported, they are more likely to feel motivated and engaged in their work. This, in turn, can help reduce stress levels and improve retention rates.
Impact on School Districts
Teacher stress can have a significant impact on school districts, both financially and in terms of student achievement. By addressing this issue and prioritizing teacher well-being, school districts can help reduce teacher turnover, improve student performance, and lower health care costs. As such, it’s crucial that school districts take proactive steps to support their teachers and create a positive school culture that values teacher input and promotes collaboration.
The cost of hiring a new teacher can range from $4,000 to $18,000.—National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future
How I Can Help
As a licensed mental health professional and former classroom teacher, I can help teachers learn to manage the stress of being an educator in today’s world. Let’s discuss staff training options to help your teachers be their best.
I am available for
- In-person staff development presentations on a range of topics
- Stress Management
- Conflict Resolution
- Compassionate Communication
- Mindfulness in the Workplace
- Consulting to help administration optimize the teacher experience
- Developing specialized remote learning options for your district
Feel free to contact me to discuss how
I can help your teaching staff succeed and thrive.