Where are the teachers going?

I just signed my contract for next year. But a bunch of teachers did not.

What’s happening?

Some staff turnover is normal, of course. Education Week says that a “normal” number of teachers leaving the profession is about 8% per year.
This year is different. This year, the number is at least double and even triple in some locations. I’m worried that school will start in September without a full staff. I’m worried about class sizes, running out of lab supplies, and lab safety in overcrowded classrooms.

Why are they leaving?

Asked this question recently, I sort of snarkily replied, “If you don’t know, then you’re not paying attention.”
Burnout is ridiculously high in education in the best of circumstances, but 3 years of building the plane while we were flying it has resulted in emotional exhaustion mandates, and a whole host of random knee jerk reactions to a global problem. There’s just a lot more being asked of teachers now, but there isn’t commensurate compensation.
Low pay is a contributor. The cost of living in the United States in 2022 increased by 5.9% and is expected to increase by 8.9% in 2023. Did you salary go up that much? Mine went up 1.3% this year.
Lack of respect by parents, administrators, and students contributes as well. Is it worse this year? That probably depends on your school district, but it surely doesn’t help.

Where are they going?

In February of this year, Forbes  Magazine published “Why Teachers are Leaving and Where They’re Going.” Apparently, there is a demand for teacher skills in companies that produce educational products and companies that train educators. Teachers have transferable skills such as the ability to chunk information and deliver content, efficiency, creativity, and organization. Teachers are masters at graphic design, management. Indeed.com published a list of 35 businesses that are interested in hiring teachers because of these transferable skills.

Why am I staying?

Again, my answer is the same. If you don’t know, then you’re not paying attention. I’m staying because of the kids. I love helping to engage students to think critically. I love it when they accidentally call me “Mom” (yes, even in middle school). I love knowing my impact.

If you’re going to stay on this crazy carnival ride with me,  here’s a little freebie for you. Just a little something to use when you go back to school at the end of the summer!

Published by JustAddH2OTeacher

Science teacherpreneur

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