Oklahoma Education Association releases results from new teacher survey

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Educators across the state recently completed a survey from the Oklahoma Education Association about stress levels.

The results showed the highest numbers the state has seen since the start of the pandemic.

OEA said not only are teachers saying they’re experiencing the highest stress levels they’ve seen, but on a scale from 1 to 10, over 70% of educators rated themselves at an 8, 9 or 10. The average was just over 8.

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“It painted the perfect picture of where their exhaustion level was at, where their stress level was at,” said OEA President Katherine Bishop.

Educators have been sounding the alarm over exhaustion for weeks.

“You’ve got to have a peek inside at exactly where their emotions are at right now,” Bishop said.

The survey asked for one word to describe how teachers feel.

“They were gut-wrenching,” Bishop said. “The one that stood out to me the most was ‘done,’ ‘exhausted,’ ‘helpless,’ ‘hopeless,’ ‘overwhelmed.’”

Educators saying everyone is working harder than ever right now.

“Everybody was pitching in, covering classes, taking on more students, putting students in large areas and one person covering them. We were already and we have been doing all this work to keep our doors open,” Bishop said.

The OEA says finding long-term solutions for schools is a must. But, they say, the first step is addressing where we stand in the pandemic.

“Secondly, this is the time to encourage, not criticize. The political rhetoric is demoralizing and it need to and it has to stop,” Bishop said. “We need to get back to that Oklahoma Standard.”