Last month, RAND Education and Labor released a report where it revealed the hardships secondary school Principals were going through due to the pandemic. To support the findings, NASSP released a survey on the looming mass exodus of Principals that schools are facing.
In the RAND report titled “The Well-Being Of Secondary School Principals One Year Into the COVID-19 Pandemic,” the authors explored how the COVID-19 pandemic has likely incremented the job-related stress that principals experience.
Some of their key findings include:
- Four out of five secondary principals experienced frequent job-related stress during the 2020–2021 school year.
- Top job-related stressors included supporting teachers’ well-being and students’ social and emotional learning, as well as navigating pandemic-related challenges.
In the report, the authors stress the urgent need to understand these problems principals face, so later on, policymakers and education leaders can identify ways to support the school’s leaders and improve job satisfaction, performance, and retention.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) survey explored the retention risks of principals due to lingering effects of the COVID outbreak in a tense and politically-charged environment with limited guidance and resources.
One of their key findings is the mass exodus of principals from PreK-12 schools with job satisfaction at an ultimate low. The principal pipeline is also directly affected by the teacher shortage, with it being more difficult to hire qualified teachers since the coronavirus outbreak.
Not only is COVID drastically impacting the role and challenges the principals face, but it has also been a reason the tense political environment is increasing and causing some teachers to take accelerated decisions to leave the profession, which in turn directly affects the principal’s pipeline.
The CEO of NASSP, Ronn Nozoe said he was ‘hardly surprised’ by the recent findings in the RAND and NASSP surveys, stating that those who are experiencing unprecedented mental health challenges are those who are serving the highest-needs students.
“In addition to the normal stresses of leading a school, our principals are coping with death and illness, staff shortages, student and educator mental health and well-being needs, and personal attacks for trying to do their jobs. Our people have been burning the candle at both ends for two years,” said Nozoe.