New survey shows rising stress for teachers

It's no question that being a teacher is a tough job, but a new survey released by the American Federation of Teachers shows that teachers' mental health is declining, amid rising job stress.

According to a newly released survey, 61% of educators, as well as school staff, say their work is 'always' or 'often' stressful.

There are a number of reasons teachers say they're stressed out in the classroom, and for some, like Melissa Gordon, the stress became too much, and they chose to switch careers.

"I just kind of felt a drive to help others," said Gordon, who said she knew she wanted to be a teacher.

"Having them get that 'lightbulb moment' that all teachers talk about," said Gordon. "It's true, seeing them connect they way you connect with it is awesome."

Gordon taught 7th Grade English in the Kyrene School District. For Gordon, however, that dream of what it meant to be an educator quickly started to change.

"My first year, I think I was under so much stress, that I just kind of floated above water and didn't realize this isn't what the real world is," said Gordon.

Gordon said the stress of big class sizes, a tiny salary, and a feeling of not being listened to by administrators slowly started to take its toll.

"I would come from school, fall asleep, wake up at 8:00 p.m., eat dinner, fall asleep again, get up at 5:00 a.m., do it again," said Gordon.

For Gordon, the stress became too much, and almost half way through her third year, she made the difficult decision to quit teaching.

Gordon said she's not surprised at all by the survey.

"I think that it's hard to admit stress when you're a teacher, because you're counted on as the person who helps others and puts yourself aside," said Gordon.