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Nebraska Teacher Appreciation Day

We at The Kim Foundation join our fellow Nebraskans to wish all educators a heartfelt “THANK YOU” on Nebraska Teacher Appreciation Day, March 3rd, 2022.

Our appreciation seems trite given of all our teachers do, especially with the challenges they’ve faced in the last couple of years. In the Omaha Metro there are 3,259.94 teachers. These professionals have shown up and keep “keeping at it.” The Scholastic and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation report the average teacher works nearly an 11-hour workday! That is a lot of hours for our local teachers to teach Omaha’s 51,914 students.

For years, teaching has been viewed as a “high stress job,” and for the past decade teachers report they have more responsibilities, students’ non-academic needs are greater, and they are micro-managed by boards and school districts. Now add in the effects of a worldwide pandemic, and teaching is nothing anyone could predict, plan, or react to in a measured and non-stressed way.

It appears our local teachers reflect the national trends; in a national poll by Education Week, teachers are STRESSED and EXHAUSTED. In this poll taken by the non-profit, 67% of teachers report job related stress that is being played out in their personal life, such as not sleeping well, not enjoying their free time, and the toll it takes on their physical health. In this same study, teachers stated relief could come through additional plan time, reduction of class size, or reduction of required “extra” tasks and meetings. There were 3,100 teachers who responded to the Nebraska State Education Association survey in November 2021 by reporting “staff shortages, mental health concerns and pandemic-induced stress are pushing students and educators to the breaking point.”

These problems are significant, and realistic strategies and systemic changes need to happen as the Nebraska State Education Association plans for 1 in 3 teachers to leave the profession in the 2022/23 school year. This is a staggering concern and a nearly impossible task for administrations to solve alone. Teachers and education staff, know that we hear you and wish there was more we could do to help. We thank you for taking care of our youth. Please take care of yourselves!

Resources to offer help and healing:


Colleen Eusterwiemann, Suicide Pre & Postvention Coordinator for The Kim Foundation

Colleen earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology from Northwest Missouri State University and her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Colleen has previous experience working for local non-profits focusing on consulting, coordinating, planning, and providing direct care. Colleen joined The Kim Foundation in January of 2022.