Teacher survey: Burnout and lack of time are big issues


If you have a child in school, there is a good chance he or she has a teacher who doesn't want to be teaching. Our exclusive Eyewitness News survey of public school teachers is giving us a troubling look into Indiana classrooms.

An alarming percentage of teachers surveyed say they are burned out and much more. Thousands responded to the survey, giving us a rare look at what teachers say is right, wrong and getting in the way of educating children.

Eyewitness News surveyed 4,500 teachers across the state of Indiana this year. Teachers responsible for educating Indiana's young minds have a lot on their minds, and much of what they are saying isn't sounding good for learning.

Of the teachers who answered our questions, 24 percent say they're burned out and 32 percent say they wouldn't choose a teaching career again.

The concerning, if not alarming, findings are the result of an exclusive Channel 13 Eyewitness News opinion poll of public school teachers.

"I think it should concern all of us, because this is public education we are talking about," said Dr. Arthur Hochman, a kindergarten teacher turned Butler University education professor.

"We often talk about teachers, we talk at teachers, but we don't often talk to them," he said.

When asked what's missing in their classrooms to effectively educate our students, most teachers said time to plan lessons and other educational chores, ranking it ahead of funding, technology and basic school supplies.

As new state mandates and other educational reforms are pushed into classrooms, educators insist that time to plan is even more necessary.

"To talk together, to make sense of it, to understand how I do I fit these ideas into the structures that already exist in my district, in my school?" said Hochman.

Not everything is wrong in the classroom. Despite all the problems, changes and criticism of public schools, eight out of ten teachers say they have a passion for their job.

Most teachers praised local leadership as one of the greatest strengths of Indiana's education system.

Tuesday, we will look one local school district and see where teachers say they are fired up and not burned out .

About the survey

While not scientific, the survey is still noteworthy in that 4,500 public school teachers participated. More than half have been teaching for more than 15 years. The Indiana State Teacher's association helped us distribute the survey.

Later this week, we'll hear what teachers are saying about parents, personal money they are spending in classrooms and easier school fund raisers for parents.

See the results of the survey

This is part one in a five-part series.

Part two: Teachers fight burnout with new ways to adapt

Read part three on parental involvement.

Read part four on teachers paying for classroom supplies out of pocket.