LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — The pandemic has been tough on everybody, but a survey from the Nebraska teachers union shows it has especially put a strain on those tasked with educating Nebraska's students.
The top line number from the NSEA survey, even with kids back in classrooms throughout the year, 64 percent of teachers that participated in the survey said they’re more stressed out than last year.
That comes as over half of the surveyed educators say they’re working more, which makes sense, as 97 percent agreed there is a substitute teacher shortage and nearly 9 of 10 saying there is a paraprofessional shortage.
“Bottom line is when you don't have enough staff to meet the needs of the students, the students suffer, the staff then being able to provide the learning that’s necessary is very difficult,” said Jenni Benson, executive director of the NSEA.
Benson said when teachers face these problems, it hurts the students.
That seems to be happening in Nebraska, as 84 percent of teachers said they have increasing concern for their students' mental health.
Benson says she wants legislation that funds mental health professionals in schools and wants schools to have physical places allotted them.
“It's very difficult to find an office space where you can have a confidential therapy session with a student,” Benson said.
With all the stress and extra work, over a quarter of respondents say they’re considering leaving the profession after the school year is over.
Benson says that’s a double-edged sword as schools are still struggling to fill vacancies from last year.
“So not only our people are leaving, we haven't even filled the positions that need to be filled to be at 100% staff because there is no one to step into these positions,” Benson said.
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