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