Teachers are resigning from teaching in droves! I’m ONE of them. I loved teaching in the classroom. Being in the classroom for 20 years is one of my greatest life treasures. Now, like many teachers, I resigned and work full time out of the classroom, leaving my tenure behind. My field is still in education, but I’m out of the classroom.
WHY ARE THEY LEAVING?
While I can never talk on behalf of all teachers, I can share why I left the classroom. After meeting lots of other teachers who left the classroom, I found that we all had similar stories. The student behaviors are getting worse. You would think that would be the reason we left, but it is not. Helping troubled students was part of our vision. There’s an amount of pride in being able to help a student through their grief, anger, or loss. The reward it high. Some students we never think we reach, but years later, we receive letters of appreciation from them for our hard work.
So why? It is not about the behaviors, it’s about the lack of support from the administration and the district. There are many administrators who don’t have the best interest of the children in mind. Some have used a behavior situation to encourage a teacher to leave who they might not like, or they see that one teacher is talented with behavior problems and overload them with too many. The district doesn’t provide proper training for teachers to deal with severe problems. School counselors are busy doing lunch duty, testing or some other activity that has nothing to do with their job description. With many evaluations today, the teacher gets written up for not being able to handle behavior problems. How is writing a teacher up helping them learn how to handle a future behavior problem?
The lack of support is a helpless feeling for a teacher. Many teachers have had nervous breakdowns from being physically abused from the students and emotionally abused by their district who provide not support to the teacher. When you have to weigh teaching in a classroom with your own personal health, there is really only one option.
Yes, this can be prevented to where we can retain our most experienced and qualified teachers. Teachers need to gain the respect of being the professional in the classroom. They need to be taken seriously when they inform administration about behaviors. There should be a plan in place that EMPOWERS the teacher. The plan needs to provide the teacher with the knowledge of how to handle problems, insurance that they are not alone while dealing with severe behaviors, and real training prior to getting in the classroom that is on-going. Our students are in crisis! Our dedicated teachers are leaving! It’s time to fix the problem.