February 2024

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Note from the Executive Director

Dear PEI Member, 

As I prepare some thoughts for the February newsletter, we are still receiving submissions from our annual survey. I want to say thank you to the over 500 who participated. I know how many “customer surveys” I receive from shopping and medical appointments. Therefore, I understand your taking the time to complete our survey means that the state of education is important to you. The PEI team is doing a lot of data review and reading your comments.

Here are some preliminary takeaways from the data:

  • 61% of the responders classified themselves as rural educators
  • 47% fall into the 1-20 years of experience and 53% responded having more than 21 plus years of experience
  • 71% indicate the demands of the job interfere with family life
  • Almost 79% feel their supervisor is concerned about them

In our introduction to the survey, we stated that some of the questions are the same from year to year so that we can see if some trends are occurring. One trend became very apparent. The question was asked, “Have you considered leaving the field of education?” In 2022 and 2023, 79% indicated they had considered leaving education. This year, with surveys still being submitted, that number has jumped to 85%. I would consider a 6% increase a significant concern. The number one answer as to why someone would consider leaving is because of stress – 65%.

We have many dedicated educators in the state of Iowa. When asked what motivates one to stay in education, the top answer three years in a row is “professional calling.” That number has jumped from 32% in 2022 to 65% in 2024. You want to make an impact in student lives – thank you!

Because of your input, we will be busy trying to schedule our professional development classes for this summer. One reoccurring theme for PD is that of classroom management and working with social and emotional needs of students. If anyone has suggestions of a great facilitator, please let us know. We will also be looking at other topics such as: PTSD/stress in students and teachers, literacy, personal well-being, and legal issues just to name a few. 


Thank you again for completing the survey. You will be hearing more about the final survey results in upcoming newsletters. The data collected will be provided to our legislators.

We know our PEI members are great educators working with challenging educational demands. As we move through these winter months and look toward Spring Break, make sure you find those moments or blocks of time to recharge yourself. You want to be your very best for your students.




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