Another school year is in the books in the Quad Cities. Students and teachers are enjoying their summer break.  While Pre-11th grade students will be returning in the fall for their next grade level, many teachers across the country will not be returning to teach the children.

A survey conducted by the National Education Association concluded that 55% of teachers were considering leaving the profession after the past couple of years.

The past couple of years have been a different type of challenge for teachers.

The end of the 2019/2020 year ended early due to the pandemic.  Then the 2020/2021 school year was totally virtual for many or at least part-time virtual.  Then students and teachers had to come back to the "normal" routine of this year.  And things have been anything but normal.  91% of teachers say that pandemic-related stress is a serious problem.

After nearly two years without having the routine of school, the normalcy of interaction, and the structure of a classroom, some students and teachers are having a difficult time.

Why are teachers retiring early or just finding new careers?

1 - Students are out of control.

This is not all students.  But it's also not an isolated incident.  In the Quad Cities Bettendorf schools, typically considered one of the best in the area, were under scrutiny for out-of-control students and teachers that felt helpless.  After some raucous school board meetings, the superintendent sent this message to the district to address the concerns of parents.

Then, just seven days after these concerns were raised and addressed, and just days before the end of the school year, a video of a nasty fight in the halls of Bettendorf Middle School surfaced showing just how out of control things are.  Just a small example of what teachers are having to deal with.

Local 4 talked with Bettendorf Middle School Counselor Michelle Bruty who told channel 4 "she was threatened, called degrading names and even chased into her office by students."  Watch the full shocking video from here.

2 - Parents aren't helping retain teachers.

If you think an out-of-control teenager is bad, what about teachers dealing with out-of-control parents.  "My little Johnny couldn't have done anything wrong, he's an angel." No, he's not.  He's a d.  But the teachers can't say that or do much about it cause the parents will throw a fit and put them "on blast" on social media.  Although as more teachers reach the end of their rope, maybe we'll start to see more truth on students come out.

3 - Teachers don't get paid enough to put up with all of it.

The average salary for a teacher in 2020/21 in Illinois was $69,300.  In Iowa, that number is $58,911.  You can see the entire country here as well as the constant dollars salary here.  The median across America was $65,090.  While those might seem like great salaries, just remember the above two points.  Now ask yourself if that salary compared to what you are doing now would be worth it.

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You can read more about the recent teacher survey on the National Education Association website.

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