May 13, 2021

Why teachers leave—or don’t: A look at the numbers

Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Deciding to leave any job can be hard, but for teachers, exiting the classroom can be downright heartbreaking. And yet about 8 percent of teachers leave the profession every year, federal data have long shown. Younger teachers, and those early in their careers, are among the most likely to leave teaching. And while trends in turnover do vary regionally, special education teachers and science and math teachers tend to be at high risk for turnover.

All of that was true before the coronavirus pandemic began last year. How the fallout from COVID-19—the unparalleled physical, financial, and emotional stressors, and the upending of what work looks like—ultimately affects those statistics on a national scale won’t be clear for some time.

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