Why do so many teachers leave the profession?

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This is my latest #talkingpoints video. It’s designed to act as a stimulus for discussion in your school.

What’s the attrition rate in your school? Is it something that is ever discussed?

For more reading on this, check out this article I wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald last year, as well as this one (not written by me) from a couple of weeks ago.

What are some of the issues you’ve encountered in this regard? And how were they handled?

0 Comments on “Why do so many teachers leave the profession?

  1. It’s not just new teachers that get treated like that…..that is exactly what happened to me when I returned from leave after a breakdown. Empty classroom, no resources (had to beg furniture and some basic supplies) class loaded with behavioural issues and no support….it was hell…we talk a lot about looking after students but some schools are like the worst kind of adolescent nightmare……we all need support and a helpful environment in which to flourish. Oldies and newies, grown ups and kids.

    • Thanks for sharing Di!
      You’re right of course, there are many teachers right across the career spectrum who are just “getting by.” There is a lot of evidence to suggest many would leave the profession if it was financially viable to do so… a real shame.

  2. Absolutely spot on! If you’re straight out of uni and get appointed to school – great. But there needs to be at least one person (preferably your supervisor or an experienced teacher) who supports and mentors you through the first years of teaching. These can be the most challenging and demanding years in the profession. If support and guidance is not offered (without judgement) then the profession and students lose due to a disheartened person (who may think they made the wrong the career choice).

    As a supervisor and mentor of early career teachers, I believe that it is vital for the school organisation to provide support and encouragement to these teachers.
    Too often I speak to early career teachers only to hear that they are considering leaving the profession. Surely we haven’t forgotten how hard the early years can be in teaching.

    • Thanks Renata! Great to hear from someone who is mentoring the early career teachers. I hear many more senior teachers brushing this off as though it’s a test of their suitability to the job… surely we can do better than that?

  3. Spot on. I failed my second professional experience because my supervisor was more interested in seeing me prove my worth to her. My next supervisor was encouragement personified. Chaulk and cheese. I dread unknown staff rooms

    • Thanks for sharing… Hopefully there are more of the latter and less of the former in our staffrooms!

  4. I used to teach tertiary in Canada and loved it. My colleagues were supportive and I felt valued. For the last 4 years I have been back in Australia and doing my BofEducation(Secondary) in ICT & Business. I am about to graduate and free to work next year; however, I am considering finding work outside of Education system due to these issues you have presented and more. I don’t really know what to do. I am disillusioned and frustrated. I see too many teachers put-down students and their fellow colleagues. Most of the High School staff rooms I have been in have been toxic! I recently blogged about this here: http://elketeaches.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/caring-in-education/ I get NO support at schools!

    • Thanks for stopping by… I can assure you there are MANY MANY GREAT staffrooms out there. I have the privilege of working with schools all over Australia and see first hand those schools that have a supportive culture and those that do not. I can usually tell within about 5 minutes of being there too!

      I’d encourage any graduate teacher to bring these issues up in their interviews with prospective schools… in fact you’ve given me an idea for my next blog post! 🙂 Good luck!

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