Why Teachers Quit?

…it’s not because they cannot “handle” the kids.

The Shortage of Teachers

Statistics reveal…

  • between 40 and 50 percent of teachers leave the classroom within their first five years.
  • nine and a half percent of teachers leave before the end of their first year.
  • Approximately 15.7 percent of ALL teachers leave each year; about four percent higher than the number, who leave other professions.
  • 40 percent of those who pursue undergraduate degrees in teaching, never enter the classroom at all.

There are many misconceptions about why teachers leave the field in such large numbers so early in their careers.  But, even if you speak with veteran teachers, who have been in the field for many years; they will tell you that the number of teacher quitting before they plan to retire, is a reflection of the times.  They will tell you how different teaching is now, compared to when they first entered the field twenty to thirty years ago.  Many love teaching, and would like to continue working; but given the current “system,” they are eager to “get out” of their positions.

The myths regarding “the reasons” teachers leave range from…

  1. They cannot handle the attitudes of kids today.
  2. They cannot deal with the parents’ unrealistic expectations.
  3. They are lousy teachers.
  4. They are not given enough resources to do their jobs.
  5. There are too many children in each classroom.
  6. They have not been properly trained.
  7. They cannot keep up with technology.
  8. They are not respected or paid what they deserve.

Dear Parents and Potential Teachers:

While many of the above rationales may have a kernel of truth, only one would likely land near the top of the list of factors, which lead most teachers to abandon their positions.  Yes, # 8 would be likely to land among the top three, given the reality that teachers can barely afford the basic needs, even when working full time (at least for those who do not have a spouse, parent, or partner to share the rent and utility bills). 

As a teacher, who has had over 25 years of business experience outside of education; I am not a young idealistic individual with no real perspective on the adult world.  In addition, I returned to school after a long business career; which included working for and with both for profit, and not for profit organizations (start ups, established businesses, and dinosaurs).  I have experienced the then (that most parents had in school), and the now (of today’s students). 

Given my business experience, I am able to view the school system as a comprehensive machine; and thus, have a more realistic perspective than most, regarding efficient and effective business practices.   But, rather than simply sharing my own personal experience; I believe it would be more beneficial to present the realities of “the system,” as described by a variety of practitioners, so you will have a comprehensive picture of the challenges within the education “system.”

Why teachers leave…

In Pursuit of Happiness

Teachers Tell Us Why They’ve Left The Classroom – Three dedicated teachers walked away from jobs they loved.  We’ll ask them why.

Why teachers can’t have ‘normal’ lives – Article
Are you a bad teacher? – Video

Additional Perspectives

Other Teacher “Rants”

A teacher describes why she left teaching in public schools… Common Core

Proactive Parents support teachers by modeling a Growth Mindset

Any questions?…   red-hand

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