Why Teachers Are Leaving Their Jobs

why teachers are leaving their jobs teaching career decrease

Teaching happens to be one of the most well respected professions in the world today, but why are so many people turning their backs on this profession? Let’s take a look about why teachers are leaving their careers. 

Teacher retention has become a serious issue. The fact that so many teachers are leaving their profession is not only harmful for the students, but it hurts the schools financially as well. Even though teacher recruitment is going up, almost half of those teachers are very likely to switch to a new school or to give up the profession entirely. So what exactly are the stories behind these alarming statistics? There are many who speculate according to analysis of education trends, national surveys etc and they do come up with some very curious outcomes. Men, in particular, are more likely to leave the profession than women are. Around 15.7% of teachers leave the career every year. Around 40 % of those who have an undergraduate degree, never ever even enter the classroom. New teachers who have first year mentors do, in general, stay longer than those who do not have these mentors. So, what does all of this mean? 

While the data is seemingly very depressing, it does not tell the lived story of an educator. So what exactly are the stories behind these depressing numbers. We decided to dig a little deeper and asked educators around the country why teacher retention has become such an issue. Let us have a closer look. 

Educators Tend To Be Active 

People who enter the field of education are normally people who are very passionate, ambitious and also lively. They choose to be on their feet throughout the day. These are the people whose responsibility it is to make sure that their students are engaged with the lessons that they are being taught and that they are actively engaged in the whole learning process. The problem, however, is that the job by itself has become increasingly sedentary. According to Suzanne Klein, the teaching profession reaches its saturation point way earlier than others. The time of most educators is spent by doing a whole lot of boring administrative work. They have to answer emails, construct and also submit the daily lesson plans. They also have to attend Webinars, prepare PowerPoint presentations etc. It is a fact that teachers spend more time in front of the screen than they do interacting with students. This really has some negative effects. A lot of teachers initially got into teaching because they wanted to avoid the cubicle and if so much of their time is spent doing dull administrative work, they can get seriously demotivated in a short period of time. 

Data Does Not Drive Them 

Teaching, by itself, is generally considered to be a part of the humanities. These are the people who are extremely good at working alongside other people. And the very real fact of the matter is that people are complex. Some of the main reasons that people get into teaching is to make a difference in a young person’s life or maybe it was because of the passion they had for their subject. While it is obvious that it is important to them that their students do well, making sure that more numbers of students score at “goal” in their ability, this is not really something that drives them. Teachers are finding it increasingly difficult to make communities and policymakers understand that students are much more than just numbers on a page. Of course, data is important, it can really help with the entire process of teaching and also with administrative work. However, it should not be the only metric that defines a teacher’s success. 

School Funding Issues 

A lot of people are very misinformed about the way our schools are funded. When you consider the pay that teachers receive and the support they get for their initiatives, the main conclusion is that teachers do not feel like they are being adequately compensated for their work. For a start, when funding increases, so does education levels. We can debate forever about how exactly school funding should be disbursed but the fact of the matter is that at the end of the day, better schools, resources and better-paid teachers will lead to a dramatic increase in the number of students who are successful. So, we must really think about it as a society and realise how important a work our teachers are doing and we should accordingly pay them and support their initiatives.

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