why is the attrition rate high? and where do teachers go if they leave teaching?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by sinvanc, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Jan 23, 2009

    I actually don't think I said I had a problem with leadership. I said I had a problem with hierarchy. I think generally speaking that hierarchical leadership is bad leadership. The qualities of good leadership generally in my view are qualities that fit better into a "gratitude leadership” or a “flat leadership” style. The example of poor leadership I gave comes from this idea that in a hierarchy, bosses can say no because they are the boss. The example of good leadership is almost a textbook case of a flat leadership style. Of course schools need leadership, but in my view if you want younger teachers to stay we need more modern styles of leadership and by that I mean a flat structure.

    As for my posting mid-day – I was on my lunch break. Now school's out so I'm checking again before I sit down to mark a few more exams :)
     
  2. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 23, 2009

    You're confusing style with structure.
     
  3. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Jan 23, 2009

    Well if my examples were not the best or not clear I appologize. My point was that hiearchical structures lead new teachers to quit. Maybe it isn't true everywhere, but from what I can see where I teach, most young teachers who leave do so because they are fed up with the system rather than specific admin, kids, the work load.
     
  4. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    Jan 24, 2009

    I think some teachers do have a romanticized view of teaching. That goes along with the majority of people who aren't teachers and think we have it easy with the summers off, 2 weeks at Christmas, etc., however most don't realize the reality of it.

    Bigger thing to me is the support or lack of support by the admin. That would be the number 1 reason to leave in my opinion. I can deal with the paperwork, the testing, the children, parents however if I feel that when I walk into the school building that I don't have any in my corner or to back me up then it is hard for me to be committed to teaching.

    I know that Admin is trying to guide new teachers but it seems here (NC) not sure in other states that because you are a new teacher they want to be harder on you because they can instead of just assisting you and guiding you in a right way so you can become a better teacher. Then they sit around and wonder why new teachers leave so much?
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 24, 2009

    I'm in my 11th year of teaching. I write and am awarded grants based on my creative ideas, the first grade teachers (and my principal) get many requests in the spring for kiddos to be placed in my class for the next year, I learn along with my class, take professional development classes (and teach some too), keep up on professional reading, 'change it up' quite often in my room to keep it interesting- we have fun while we are learning. Parents who volunteer in my classroom say they wish they had teachers like me when they were in elementary school. I mentor student teachers and new teachers, supporting them in their professional growth and encouraging their creativity. My principal has said she wants to clone me because of my enthusiasm, energy and professionalism... I'm not trying to toot my own horn here, but there are MANY MANY 'seasoned' teachers who stay creative, who never stop learning, who bring new ideas to their classrooms every day. Sorry if that was not your experience, Jem, sounds like you didn't find the right opportunities in your short teaching career, but please do not imply that there are no creative, innovative, dynamic 'veteran' teachers- I work with a school-full. :2cents:
     
  6. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jan 24, 2009

    Personally, I think the reason it seems like there is more attrition in teaching than in other professions is quite simple. Teaching is one of the few professions where you are expected to be 100% competent on the very first day of work. There is no such thing as an "entry-level teacher."

    If you go to college to become an accountant, you take accounting classes, you probably do an internship, and you get your degree. On your first job, you are an entry level accountant. You certainly aren't the chief comptroller of a huge corporation on your 1st day. As you progress, you move up the ladder, either in that company, or by changing companies.

    In teaching, you are expected as a day-one-novice to do the same work and the same job as a 20-year veteran. And let's face it -- some things you can only learn from experience. You are expected to be completely competent from day one.

    Teaching is a very isolated job. We go in our rooms, close the door, and sometimes we don't see another adult until the end of the day. There is no one standing there that you can ask. An accountant can walk down the hall to a colleague's office and ask a question. We usually can't leave the kids, so we have to figure it out ourselves.

    I work at a school where the administration is supportive. All of our new teachers have mentors (very active mentors who have been trained for their positions, and have guidelines on exactly what is expected of them.) Our district provides an incredible 2 year training program for new teachers, where they meet one day each month (a sub is provided by the district) to share ideas, learn new ways, hash out problems, and then the last half of the day is for them to go to other schools to observe successful teachers. Part of that program has trained observers come in to observe and help new teachers "get it right" (without the fear of it being a formal evaluation that will go in their file.)

    And with all of that, we still have a fair amount of attrition among our new teachers. Some simply aren't cut out for the demands of teaching. Many, even when given every support, still fall short, or decide teaching is "not for them." I'm not judging them -- we all have our gifts and talents. I tried to be an accountant once (to please my parents, when I was young) and found I hated it!!! It wouldn't have mattered how much support and positive feedback you gave me -- I couldn't stand crunching numbers all day!! It just wasn't for me. Fortunately, I figured that out while I was still in college and decided to change to something else.

    Many (even those who have successfully taught in other communities) are overwhelmed by the needs and demands of an inner-city public school like ours.
     
  7. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Jan 24, 2009

    Too bad you can't be cloned czacza....... Schools need tens of thousands of teachers just like YOU out there......

    Major.........:hugs:
     
  8. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jan 24, 2009

    This is pretty snide, czacza. I taught for five years, which may not be as long as you, but it's nothing to sneeze at either. It's fantastic that you have a supportive school environment. Several of the teachers on this thread have stated that. That's great. But I believe the subject was asking why teachers leave, not why great teachers stay in great environments. I was simply stating that many teachers are not supported in their ideas and leave because they can't take it. And it is in those schools that the veteran teachers will be the ones conforming to the principal's bland vision.

    Your post truly made me feel like *hit all day. Thanks.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 25, 2009

    (scratches head in puzzlement)

    Expressing regret that a colleague's work environment wasn't congenial is snide?
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 25, 2009

    Jem: I was not being malicious or snide. Your post suggested that the teachers who become veterans are the ones who give up on their creativity. That just isn't true-my school and these forums are inhabited with creative, dynamic, intelligent 'seasoned' veterans who teach in all kinds of situations.

    You taught for 5 years in several different placements- from your posts it sounds like you had some creative ideas. I expressed empathy that you didn't find the right place for you. I know you are still in some pain over your job experiences, but please do not read maliciousness into posts that are merely responding to something you've posted.


    Major: :wub: There are so many great teachers- as I said above, great teachers are found in my school, in many schools across our country( and of course, on these forums). There are great teachers in schools in every district- hopefully these teachers take those new, hopeful, shiny bright newbie teachers in their districts under their wings. I'm passionate about what I do, about our profession. I think it's important to speak with conviction about what we do and to act with conviction. :angel:
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 25, 2009

    At some point, I think the discussion also has to include a bit about why some teachers leave while others are staying. Not "good" vs "bad" administrators, but about why some seem better prepared for the realities they'll face than others.

    After all, if half the new teachers leave after 5 years, it stands to reason that the other half don't. Why? It can't be that the lucky half all landed in the "good" schools-- otherwise the "bad" schools would have no staffs.

    How do some new teachers, from the same generation and education programs and universities and backgrounds as those who are leaving, manage to find rewarding careers where others don't or won't or can't?
     
  12. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jan 25, 2009

    Excellent question, Alice!

    You are exactly right about "if half leave, then half stay." And they are at the same schools.

    I think a lot of it has to do with realistic expectations. I see unrealistic expectations among new (and often young) teachers each year. They express outrage at basic things -- testing (sorry, no choice there, that is a federal and state government thing...), paperwork (that is a reality in teaching), district requirements, lack of support, etc etc. And yet, brand new (and often young) teachers at the same school thrive despite the exact same issues. They have the same certification. They are working at the same school for the same administrators -- yet one leaves and one stays. I often wonder what is the deciding factor.

    I notice that the "survivors" are generally the ones who realize that all jobs have unpleasant tasks, things you must do that you don't necessarily agree with, and who are able to walk the fine line between doing what needs to be done, and finding a way to enjoy what they are doing. They are the people who come up with creative ideas, but realize you can't implement them all at one time! They realize that maybe there is value in other people's ideas -- and instead of trying to change everything, they try to learn about what is already working before they start trying to change everything.

    They are patient for the right time for the right idea! They try things the way the district wants it to be done for a good little while before passing judgement on whether it is the best way to do things or not -- and then if they think it can be done better, they get on the committees that decide such matters and try to change things in a positive way from within, instead of trying to be a maverick.
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jan 25, 2009

    Good points, RainStorm! Here in Ontario we don't have the same issues with testing as most of you have, but the demands are still very high. Challenging curriculums, data collection and analysis, new initiatives, difficult parents, very diverse personalities and teaching styles all present a challenge. I have seen a few new teachers leave and have worked with others who I anticipate won't still be teaching in a few years. Some want to change the world and are ready, in their first few months, to throw the baby out with the bathwater and re-create everything. Others don't want to do any thinking for themselves and want others to supply all of their resources and lessons for them. Still others become completely consumed by the job and burn out because they take no time for themselves.

    I think that those realize that being a teacher means that you need to keep learning are those who stay for the long haul. They realize that you can't change everything at once and that some things about the education system are unpleasant, but they are part of the job. They remain positive (at least most of the time) and focus on those things they have power over instead of those that they don't. They know when to immerse themselves in their job and when to leave it behind. It's a tough balance and far from an easy job. The "survivors" realize that it's hard and often far-from-perfect, but they love it anyway.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 25, 2009

    I like the direction we're headed here. Maybe we can help some of the newer teachers become part of the half that stays. Let's keep it going!
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 25, 2009

    I'm mentoring a new teacher- she's great, knows a lot already about our literacy philosophy (reading and writing workshop model..) She stays calm, cool and collected in school although I know at home she works, thinks, worries on weekends about the next week. She knows what questions to ask, who to ask, keeps her eyes open. Contributes in a smart and positive way at team meetings and at workshops. She takes constructive advice from team members and lets other things run off her back...She causes no problems. She has 'instinct', passion, enthusiasm but also knows that she has a lot to learn. I love mentoring her as it is a 'give and take' relationship. We learn from each other.
     
  16. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jan 25, 2009

    I would say that some teachers certainly aren't prepared for the realities of teaching. A lot of us had a romanticized vision of what it would be like, and reality falls very short of those initial ideas. It's a tough job. The demands and stress are very high. As a new teacher, it all feels so overwhelming. Teaching is a struggle because you are also just trying t figure out effective classroom managament skills. Until classroom management effectively takes place, learning cannot. This can lead a teacher to feel ineffective and not qualified to do the job. I am new to teaching (currently unemployed) and found my classroom to bring me joy at times, and other times heartache. I wasn't there long enough to hone my skills, and in this economy I don't even know when I will be able land a permanent job so that I can develop and grow as an effective teacher. From my experience, I did have support from the other teachers and from administration, and I think if my contract had been renewed, I would still be adjusting everything that I was doing to keep becoming better. I think that new teachers really need to be flexible, willing to adapt and modify everything they do, be open minded, understand that they don't know it all, and just keep learning.
     
  17. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jan 25, 2009

    I would also add that students' attitudes can have a huge impact on how new teachers feel about their jobs. Bad attitudes can leave a teacher feeling resentful and not appreciated. The question begs, then, how does a teacher effectively interact with his or her teachers to establish a rapport with those students? I think it starts with respect. Students need to feel respected, and they need to be encouraged. Though I only struggled with one of my classes, I learned a lot from them. I should have really buckled down from day one and enforced some hard rules to help me control that class. I came in mid-semester after the kids had gone through a couple of subs, so I was already starting out in a bad situation. I know what I did wrong, but I also know what I did right. Those kids, even though many were gangmembers, did end up respecting me. One day I had them do a journal prompt about what changes in behavior needed to be made in the classroom. My Jesus, the class clown who openly disiked any work we would do, raised his hand and said "We really need to respect Mrs. J because she believes in us". My God, I pushed those kids to do so much and they got that I beleived in them. Even when I was frustrated I kept telling those kids that they could do it. My students respected me for this.

    The teacher next door, who had been teaching for 5 years (but new to this school just like me), had a bad experience with those kids. They threw things at her and were disrpectful. She admitted to me that she was depressed after teaching there (she also had a pretty lousy observation my our principal). Even though I understand her frustrations, I wonder why there was never a rapport built with those kids. I say that there wasn't because if the kids respect you, they don't do those things to their teacher. Something was lacking. It might have been an inability, or maybe an unwillingness to get to know them and try to relate to them. I know that she came from a school where the demographics were much different, where the students were from middle to upper class families.

    My point in this is that teachers have to be willing to reach out to their students, no matter how different from them they might seem, and be willing to find a common ground. We have to be able to find the good even when no one else can see it.
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 25, 2009

    The teacher I'm mentoring also has longevity stamped on her forehead.

    For starters, she knows her material cold. I know that should be a given, but so often it isn't. (And, to add to the mix, she's teaching Precalculus Honors and Intro to Calculus.) When she is confused on a point, she's not afraid to ask for help or clarification.

    She's very happy to listen to advice. She has given up a number of her free periods observing other teachers in the department, just to get another spin on how to run a class. She's only too happy to be observed, and to ask someone how best to handle a problem or a difficult situation with a student. (At 22, she's only 4 years older than some of her students. So she had to work a bit at first at establishing her authority. But she's done a great job with it. The kids can't help but respect her.)

    She's professional. In her clothing, in her speech, in her mannerisms, in the way she approaches her job, in the way she speaks to parents and to other members of the faculty. There's no mistaking her for a college kid.

    As I said, she has "longevity" stamped on her forehead.
     
  19. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Respect from students needs to be earned and it will be freely given to those teachers who give the students respect, who don't talk down to or demean them and who value them as people. I overheard a conversation in the hall on Friday between a teacher and one of my students. The teacher was yelling at the student, "I am fed up with your class. All you do is goof around. You never listen to me or do my assignments. You need to show me some respect!". The response, Why? You don't respect us". Out of the mouths of babes.

    It is easy to stand in front of a group of unruly kids, yell at them and then complain that they don't do anything and that they have no respect. It is hard to reach out and see the people that they are and to help them recognize the people they can become. Teachers who can do this are the "keepers".
     
  20. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Well said Mrs. C. If students don't feel respected, they won't try. But, if you let those kids know that you expect great things from them, that you believe that they can do it, they will not want to disapoint you. They are right, why should they respect a teacher who doesn't respect them? We should respect our students, and we should always look for ways to encourage their efforts, not discourage them.

    I had a great moment in my class (it sort of brewed out of a bad moment) when we were getting ready for a test and I was having a difficult time getting the students to quiet down. I explained that additional talking and not being ready to take the test would result in a zero. One of my female students got up and quickly went to the inbox to see the paper that she had just turned in (a last minute study-effort) and I explained to her that she earned a zero. She accepted her zero quietly, but as I was navigating the room, I saw the tears welling in her eyes. After the test I approached her and asked her if she understood why I gave her a zero. She explained to me that she did, and explained what she had done wrong. I told her that I would make an exception and let her take the test, but emphasized that in the future it is imperative that she immediately does what is asked so that we can begin the test. I gave her her test with a note I wrote to her saying that I was not mad at her (I knew she would be worried about how I was feeling twards her) but that I just wanted her to be successful. When she returned her test she had a handwritten note saying that I was a wonderful teacher and she hopes to grow up to be like me. It brought tears to my eyes. It's not enough to tell the kids you care about them, you have to show it. When they know it, they want to please you, and it's the greatest feeling. (and this was a high school student...)
     
  21. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jan 25, 2009

    I'm sorry if I mis-interpreted your post, czacza. 'Short career' really struck a bad note with me.

    This whole conversation is so hurtful, especially as someone who has poured everything, EVERYTHING into this career. I don't think most teachers walk away from the classroom lightly. I have cried everyday over my decision. My heart aches each time I send a resume to a job outside of education. Each time I sell one of my classroom books, or look at anything that a student made me, I feel sick. But there comes a point when you have to ask yourself 'how much more?'. I didn't choose to leave my school in Michigan-my dh wanted to move to CA, and I followed. It's been very difficult finding my way here. Every teacher was brand new at my middle school except two. That should have been a warning flag. Every single teacher at my last school was new except for the fourth grade teacher-also the principal. So I do think that bad schools have constant turn-over, but they don't tell you that when they hire you. I can't get an interview in the good schools around here-there are no openings. When a teacher gets a job in this area, they hold on for dear life. I think this area has serious issues with equality in schooling, but that's a whole 'nother thread.

    The whole situation is so difficult and horrible and yes, I'm very bitter. I feel I've been forced out of the career that I love, and I'm trying to figure out where I go from here. I could try yet again, at another school, re-invest myself fully-for what? To become disappointed again?

    It's just hard to hear teachers who obviously have really great situations speculate why others have left the career. I have never known a teacher to go willing or brush it off-it's a huge, huge decision and it really hurts to hear a majority of people say we couldn't hack it or weren't willing to put in the work and didn't want it enough.
     
  22. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 26, 2009

    Jem, this is said with kindness:

    If it hurts to read a thread like this, don't read it. You have said you're done with teaching. So why read a thread that's only going to tear your heart out?

    What we're trying to do here is get to the root of a problem. You've given some input, and we thank you. But if seeing the other opinions about how others in other situations have handled things is going to hurt-- why do that to yourself?
     
  23. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jan 26, 2009

    Because for the last two months, I've been battling deep self doubt, depression and frustration over my situation. And this thread started out as a discussion about exactly my situation. I think people have given some good reasons. But it's turned into something else-teachers are still in their supportive environments speculating on why teachers leave. I know there are several teachers on the board who are struggling with whether they should leave the classroom for good right now, and I think some of the comments being given are hurtful. Generalizations that teachers who leave weren't ready for the amount of work, or weren't dedicated enough, or didn't really want to teach, etc-these are really hurtful!! I really don't think they are true. It seems like the original poster wanted to know why teachers have left, and got a few answers from people who have left or are thinking about leaving. And they also wanted to know where people go then, and I think they got some answers.

    Maybe another thread needs to be started on how to prevent teachers from leaving. That might be productive. But to write in things like 'they weren't prepared for the realities of teaching' or 'Quite simply because teaching is HARD work'-those are not specific enough and make it seem like those who leave are failures.

    If there are specific reasons, such as the ones that RainStorm listed near the beginning of the thread, then those can be addressed head on. And many of those reasons SHOULD be addressed head on. I think many teachers who leave have TRIED to address their issues, have been discouraged and leave for a career where they CAN influence change.

    If more schools had mentors like yours, Alice, they would loose less teachers. I never had a mentor. I had face my issues by myself, with no union or staff support, and one can only do that for so long. If more schools had supportive admins like yours, czacza, we'd have a country of amazingly inspired, creative teachers. I wrote grants, had newspaper articles written about my classroom, had parents requesting me as a teacher-but it didn't matter in the long run. If you aren't in a supportive environment where you are made to feel you matter and are valued, you burn out fast. I loved my kids to death, I gave everything, but hit walls every time I tried to deal with admin. I did not think teaching would be easy, I did not romanticize teaching, I didn't just give up.

    So maybe less generalizations, and more specific 'here's what we do to help new teachers' statements might be good.
     
  24. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jan 26, 2009

    I think I was perhaps wrong to say that some of us here have romanticized the idea of teaching. I speak specifically for myself and assumed that others here might have had those same, romanticized ideas about teaching when they entered the field. I know that I personally did when I initially wanted to teach. When I got my own classroom, the reality for me did fall very short of my vision of what things would be like as a teacher. There were some days when I truly wondered if I had chosen the wrong career path. I can completely see how years of that feeling would drive me out of the classroom, but that is speaking for myself only.

    I personally know 4 ladies who earned their teaching credentials but quickly went into new fields. They work at the same resort where I worked all through college (and now during the summers). 1 of them a the Catering director, 1 does payroll in accounting, 1 does Purchasing, and the other 1 works at the front desk. Here are some of the reasons they gave me for leaving: not social enough and was not made to be a teacher, another one hated the lack of support from parents and found that it caused too many problems in the classroom, another one loved working with children but did not like being in the classroom, and the other one I have no idea why she left-she had mentioned before about trying to get back into teaching, but never did pursue that.

    In essence, I think there are many reasons why teachers might leave the teaching field.
     
  25. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 26, 2009

    Jem, I see you posted a response. I haven't read it yet.

    I owe you a huge apology. As I was typing this morning, I was interrupted by a sick child-- Brian with a killer sore throat. I never got back to the computer to finish what I meant to say. I should have hit "delete" instead of "post."

    Here's the rest:

    You must admit that your career hasn't been "typical" if there is any such thing. Just as my year hasn't been "typical." (Seriously, since Labor Day: a mastectomy, the death of my father in law 8 days later, 3 fender benders on 2 cars, head lice in 2 of my kids, a babysitter MIA for 2 months because of her car accident, radiation, a pregnancy scare during radiation--WHO lives like that??? Well, for the time being, I do. But it's not typical.)

    I guess that my point is this: your reasons for choosing to leave teaching aren't typical either. Again, seriously: TWO schools that have a total faculty turnover each year? I'm not disputing your story, just acknowledging that it's not the norm. The schools you've been in are most certainly NOT typical. They're not the reason for the attrition rate; they're anomolies (which I'm sure I've misspelled.) I've never heard of even one school with that issue, much less found 2 of them in the same general region. You've had an incredibly freaky run of bad luck. The remaining 50% of new teachers who leave within 5 years have NOT been in your shoes.

    Oops, gotta go. Again, Jem I apologize. This has been bothering me all day, but I was at work and couldn't edit the post before you had the chance to see it.
     
  26. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 26, 2009

    OK, now that I've read your response:

    I know that most of the things I write here, and that most of my opinions about education and teachers, are not based on what I read here. They're based on the people I know and meet and work with, sometimes only briefly, in the real world. So I DO think that some of the people I've known who have left the field have done so for the reasons you dispute-- that they had no idea of the workload or of the realities of the job. I'm not saying that's true in your case; you live a continent away from me and I don't know you. (Hey, for all anyone really knows, either of us could be 80 year old men from the Ukraine!!!) But they are observations and opinions I had before I read the thread. There are real names and stories behind most of my opinions, but they're not the names and stories of people on AtoZ.
     
  27. sinvanc

    sinvanc Rookie

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    Feb 21, 2009

    Guys, I am so impressed with you: passionate, accepting, enthusiastic, organized, optimistic, idealistic, and very willing to help :).
    This is one of the reasons why I'd like to be a teacher. I love teachers :)).
    I went through career counseling to find out that people with my personality type often become teachers. Also I've been volunteering as an educator in Aquarium. It is hard, but I hope I will learn.

    It is scary to read your comments... So many problems... But thank you for sharing your thoughts! You guys are awesome!!!
     
  28. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Feb 21, 2009


    Alice, is there something you need to tell us? Just kidding, hon (I couldn't resist!) :haha:
     
  29. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Feb 21, 2009


    Try not to be discouraged. Teaching is definitely a tough gig, but you never know if you're going to be good at it unless you give it a try. Good luck to you!
     
  30. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Feb 24, 2009

    I too seem to have completely different experiences from those of you who see teachers leaving because they aren't "cut out for it." I have watched several teachers leave teaching - not one of them left it because of the work load. They left because of the politics.
     
  31. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 25, 2009

    I'll throw in my two cents. These are some of the reasons I've seen:

    1. Urban school setting. I strongly believe that it takes a special sort of person to teach in an urban school. A person might be an excellent teacher in general but terrible in an urban setting. I've seen teachers leave the profession entirely because they were so discouraged at their experience in an urban setting.

    2. Waiting until getting married, having a baby. Some teachers intend to teach for only a couple of years before getting married and/or having a baby. I have no idea why a person would go through all the work it takes to become a teacher when they know they'll be leaving the profession in a few years, but whatever.

    3. Workload. It is difficult to be a teacher. We all know that however rewarding it is, we certainly do put in plenty of legwork. Lesson planning, grading, doing paperwork, handling discipline, having meeting after meeting, and oh yeah, teaching from time to time...it all requires that we give a lot of ourselves. People who go into teaching without their eyes open are pretty shocked at how much work it takes. Unless they can adjust their ideas and expectations fairly quickly, they won't survive as teachers.

    4. Job availability. If you can't get a job being a teacher, you can't be a teacher. If there isn't a job in your area and you're not willing/able to relocate, you're kind of stuck playing the waiting game until something opens up. For most people, there comes a point when reality sets in and when they realize that they can't go on waiting for a job that might not ever happen--so they choose to move into a different field.

    5. Politics/mess. Like any profession, teaching is full of politics and mess. If your admin hates you because you were gossipy, that's a problem. If the other teachers hate you because of some unfounded rumor, that's a problem. Sometimes things get to a point where it's impossible to fix or tolerate a bad situation.
     
  32. Bubblehead

    Bubblehead Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2009

    Too much paperwork, useless administration, lack of leadership and parental support. Get some experience at home and then get a job in a far away place in an international school. A 2 year contract here, a 2 year contract there and before you know it you have lived half your life in the sunniest and most interesting places in the world, and you're getting paid. Plus there is the free accommodation, the free flights home, the paid holidays. Home is not necessarily all that one believes it to be.
     

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