1 in 5 Teachers Unlikely to Return When Schools Reopen in the Fall: Poll

May 28, 2020

Most people across the country expect schools to reopen in the fall, but a new poll found a good portion of teachers and students will likely not return.

The online poll from USA Today/Ipsos reports that one in five teachers say they will not go back when classrooms reopen.

While 505 kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers participated in the poll, nearly two-thirds of educators said they have not been able to do their jobs properly during the coronavirus pandemic.

Researchers said that three-fourths of teachers told them that their classes were behind, but predicted they would be able to make up the lost ground.

Some teachers also expressed their frustration with having to teach remotely.

Jasmine Chung, a high school English teacher in the Chicago area, said that she "hated" virtual online teaching for her classes. However, she anticipated continuing to educate her students online as she still has reservations about returning to school.

"If they were to start school in the fall, I definitely would not be comfortable," Chung added.

She explained if the country had a proper COVID-19 vaccine, and it was required for students to return, she would feel differently.

The high school teacher said that her job is very social and her students learn more when she connects with them in person.

"Teaching is a very social job, right? And kids learn when you connect to them and you just can't when you’re in this 'Brady Bunch' box of Zoom," Chung said. "You can’t connect with like, 'Oh you, upper left-hand corner, did you change your hair?'"

Another USA Today/Ipsos poll showed that six in 10 parents reported being "very" or "somewhat" likely being ok with continuing at-home learning in the fall.

Parents were most concerned with how social distancing protocols would be enforced in the classroom and two-thirds indicated they would require their child to wear a mask to school.

In addition, two-thirds of parents said they would support returning to school for two or three days a week and finish the rest of the days via remote teaching.

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