Massive resignation is affecting Lee County School District as teachers leave


Teachers and other school staff are tired of feeling overworked and underpaid.

A lot of them are quitting their jobs. As of July 2020, the Lee County School District has lost approximately 900 teachers.

So the Lee County School Board has addressed the Large Resignation and what to do about it.

Marsha Ellis, a former Lee County School teacher, left in June after 19 years with the district. She says the tension between concerns about COVID-19 and low wages is too much. Having to pay for other classes of teachers because it is difficult to lack.

“I feel like I’m doing the impossible. I feel demoralized in my profession,” said Ellis, who teaches at Varsity Lakes Middle School.

She says she knows many other teachers still doing this work who feel the same way she does.

The absence and shortage of teachers means that those who are still working will have to work more.

“I have to get up early several times a week at 4 a.m. and prepare my lessons for virtual learning to feel like I’m doing it, I can do my job because I get called so often, many times a week . Ellis said.

On top of that, Ellis said teachers and school staff often feel disrespected and underappreciated.

Research by the Lee County School District alone shows that Ellis is not alone.

A survey of retired teachers found that most quit for family or health reasons, working conditions, other job opportunities or low wages.

Kevin Daly, with the teachers union, said some teachers won’t wait until the school year is over.

“You know, they’ll leave, you know, when they get bored, or when they finally have enough, you know, they’ll just go out,” Daly said.

Ellis said she doesn’t see that changing anytime soon. She worries about what that means for students.

Ellis said: “I really have feelings for the kids.

Lee County School Board member Gwyn Gittens said they had to find a way to reduce the load.

“I honestly think we can start right away by assigning as many people at that district office to a school as possible,” Gittens said. “I’ve subbed before and I’m planning on subbing again.”

Lee County School Board member Debbie Jordan said the district needs to find ways to compensate and provide incentives to make teachers feel valued.

The board will talk about these ideas and more at a panel on Monday. The aim is to slow down what has come to be known as the Great Resignation.

“It’s a crisis,” Gittens said.

Ellis hopes the workshop will make a difference.

“What really needs to happen is that teachers want to get the respect they deserve,” Ellis said.

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