According to the Alberta Teachers’ Association, the profession could be in dire straights heading into the 2022-23 school year.
In the ATA’s sixth pandemic pulse study at the end of November 2021, they found nearly 37 per cent of teachers won’t likely be teaching next year.
“The proportion of respondents reporting that they will leave the teaching profession for another occupation has doubled since the annual Member Opinion Survey was conducted in March 2021. Retirement data remains similar,” read a report from the ATA.
About 31 per cent expect to be in the same school, 16 per cent plan to retire, 14 per cent will leave the profession, 9.5 per cent will take on new school leadership duties and 6.9 per cent will leave the province to teach somewhere else.
The study was a random sample of 1,300 K-12 Alberta teachers and school leaders.
Katherine Stavropoulos, press secretary for Alberta Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange ,said Friday in a statement that the sample size of the survey only represents a small portion of teachers.
“Alberta’s government recognizes how challenging the past two years have been. We are grateful to all parents, students, teachers and education partners for their continued flexibility and dedication during the pandemic,” she said.
“The ATA’s recent report is based on a survey of approximately 1,300 K-12 Alberta teachers, representing only 2.8 per cent of the 46,000 teachers in Alberta.
“It also appears this is a pulse survey of a self-identified group of teachers who have indicated they will participate in surveys from the union. This survey does not represent a random sample of teachers and raises questions regarding the accuracy of its findings.”
The survey also indicated that teachers are feeling stress, fatigue, anxiety and hopelessness. About 88 per cent of those surveyed said they strongly agreed or agreed with the statement “they were feeling stressed.”
Ninety-two per cent said they either agreed or strongly agreed that they “feel exhausted by the end of the day.” There is also a sense of hopelessness, with 45 per cent disagreeing or strongly disagreeing with the statement that they feel hopeful.