As teachers head back to school, how are they really feeling about the current state of education? Given the recent surge of the Covid Delta variant and the increasing demands put on teachers, EdHelper wanted an opportunity for teachers to anonymously share their authentic feelings about the current and future state of education.

An anonymous survey posted last week by the educational website resulted in more than 2,000 teacher responses. The goal was to gather data about educator opinions on student masks, their desire to continue teaching, and the amount of personal funds spent on supplies and resources each year. The survey found that while 34.2% of teachers did not want students to be masked when returning to school, 65.8% shared that they would prefer students to mask up while on campus.

That response may be influenced by the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic created a physical and emotional strain on educators that left some of them questioning their desire to continue in the profession. While 22% of teachers considered changing careers amid last year's stressful situation, an overwhelming majority (68%) said they would return to the classroom for the 2021-2022 school year. Interestingly, the teachers who responded indicated their commitment to education and their students, with nearly 60% saying they plan to continue teaching for five or more years. Nearly a quarter of surveyed educators suggested they may stay in the classroom for 2-4 more years. The marked strain caused by the stresses of teaching combined with the stress of the pandemic did, however, cause 7% of respondents to indicate that they would only possibly consider teaching for another year. The final 7% declared that they would, in fact, like this year to be their last.

While unsurprising, these results speak to educators' deep commitment to their students' success. When one considers the great pressure of the 2020-2021 school year, most teachers have not allowed the strain to keep them from spending a significant amount of their own money to ensure their students and classrooms are properly stocked. Most respondents, 52%, indicated that they spend more than $300 of personal funds each year on school supplies and resources. More than a third, 36.7%, spend between $100-$299. The smallest percentage, 11%, shared that they spend less than $100 each year.

Educators across the nation and around the globe appear ready to welcome their students back to campus. While they may vary in opinions on masks, a desire to continue in education, and the amount of personal funds spent, the data does not lie. Teachers are deeply committed to their students and their students' success! The vast majority are willing to rise to whatever challenges they may face this year.