Survey says CT teachers ‘burned out’ over low pay and interference

Connecticut is facing a growing teacher shortage. A new survey released Wednesday partly blames interference from politicians and "non-educators" for the classroom exodus.
Teaching has always been stressful, but with tempers flaring among students in class – and parents at school board meetings – many educators say the job is no longer worth the stress.
"We have teachers that are being hit, spit on, punched, kicked – regularly," Jennifer Rodriguez, a Newington teacher, told reporters at a state Capitol news conference.
According to a new survey from the Connecticut Education Association, 77% of teachers said they are "burned out" – 8% more than last year. Eighty-four percent of respondents cited "politicians and non-educators making classroom decisions" as their top concern.
"I know how to do my job," said CEA president Kate Dias. "Why is it that somebody who has never been a teacher is walking in this room and questioning the choices I make?"
In the survey, teachers recommended better pay, smaller class sizes, less paperwork and less interference.
Parental involvement in curriculum choices has been a flashpoint across the state and nation.
Reacting to the survey results, parents said they deserve an equal say in what their kids are learning.
"It's also a parent's job," said Norwalk parent Neerja Dandon. "It's not necessarily a teacher's job only. We have to work as a team."
Another Norwalk parent, Lisa Marroquin, agreed.
"It has to be balanced – both," she said. "Mostly teachers, because they did study to teach our kids."
Even some lawmakers said that it's time to let teachers – teach.
"Parents need to work as partners with our teachers for the best interest of their children and their students," said state Rep. Kathleen McCarty (R-Waterford).