Teachers feeling ‘burnt out’ in Southern Utah
ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4/KDXU) - Teachers in Southern Utah are struggling with burnout, according to the head of the Utah Education Association for Color County UniServ, Amy Barton.
Amy Barton is a second grade teacher in Washington County asking for help from locals.
“To fill in those instructional gaps that may have happened over the last couple of years,” she says.
She says some areas needing staff are playground supervisors, reading paraprofessionals and classroom volunteers.
“Teachers do things like bus duty and playground supervision duty, and committees, and filling in when colleagues aren’t here. It can just start to feel like a mountain that you’re trying to crawl out from under,” she says.
Barton says over the last couple of months, teachers have reached out to her saying they feel they're being overworked.
“They may be dealing with all the things they’re used to dealing with at work but then they’re going home and dealing with their own children’s challenges and perhaps they’re caring for family members,” says Barton.
At last week's board meeting, she read some emails from educators. One of them said: “I’m seriously considering early retirement. Who do I talk to? I’m so tired of the meetings, no respect and added demands. I’m exhausted.”
Another teacher wrote: “I’m retiring specifically because I can’t keep doing two to three hours at home every night to be prepared to teach tomorrow. I am so tired. I am done. The system doesn’t work. They set you up to fail, so here I am failing, asking for help and now walking away.”
The Washington County School District currently has the highest teacher retention rate in Utah, at 73% compared to the state average of 53%.
Barton is asking for available volunteers to contact their local school district.