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The Burnout Equation: America’s Teacher Shortage Crisis

Amid a nationwide teacher shortage, one question looms — who is going to teach America’s children when educators burn out?



Published: 11:01 AM CDT May 9, 2023
Updated: 11:01 AM CDT May 9, 2023

Research has found that teachers matter more to student achievement than any other aspect of schooling. But after decades of insufficient pay and increased workloads, many teachers across the United States have had enough.

“I need a pep talk right now because I'm not sure if I can come back on Monday at this point,” Violeta Duran, a high school English teacher in Los Angeles County, California, told VERIFY.

Duran, who has worked as a teacher for nearly 20 years, said she’s burned out. She’s not alone. Teachers in K-12 education report significantly higher rates of burnout than full-time workers in any other industry, including other high-stress professions like healthcare and law, according to a 2022 Gallup poll.

Credit: VERIFY

“I've been burned out for quite some time,” Joaquín Rodriguez, a high school multilingual science teacher in Seattle, Washington, said. “That stress is compounding.”

VERIFY spoke to several current and former teachers who say they are burning out for two main reasons: being overworked and underpaid. While teachers say those factors aren't new, they've reached a breaking point — a breaking point that might cause teachers to leave the classroom for good.


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