In a school district, there are few opportunities for a teacher to take on exciting new roles. While some teachers are leaving the classroom for administrative, TOSA, or curriculum specialist positions, many are on career breaks. Over the years, they are less motivated to expand their professional skills. The professional development opportunities offered by the administration are often outdated, disconnected, or often ignore the worst points for teachers as a whole.
It does not help that many teachers are against the vain hope that teaching will be their eternal career. With this in mind, teachers who are considering quitting are often unfairly stigmatised. People are often angry when teachers leave to seek career opportunities elsewhere, and others in the school system may see it as an easy way out. But the average person changes jobs about 12 times. Unfortunately, many have less than three teachers, and teaching was their last job.
Teachers leave because there are not enough breaks.
“I continue to teach at the moment, but I plan to quit school after this school year if the opportunity arises. I like breaks, but sometimes it’s not worth it. I’m thinking of leaving because now it’s about numbers – not kids. We are told what and how to teach. It is becoming increasingly difficult to follow the new rules, laws and regulations imposed on us. The pay is too low.
Teachers are not respected. School is a place where children are sent so parents can work (at least in my county). Children become more stubborn (I teach in secondary school). You can’t defend yourself…the list is very long.
In the end we love children so we stay. I would have gone this year, but there is a very serious shortage of teachers in our district and I feel sorry for the children. Holidays and summer vacations are good too, but in the end they are not enough.
Denise’s Story: Bridges for Parents and Empty Promises of Equality
Denise was an art teacher at a private school on the West Coast and she loved her job. “It’s been amazing, and it’s been for a very long time. I’d love to be in a space where kids could come and take a moment to see how kids create and use another part of their brain. long, everything was great.”
And even at the beginning of the Covid confinement everything was tolerable. “At first, everyone thought: Yippee, they’re the best teachers! You got all these Starbucks gift cards and the people were really nice and then it all turned around really fast. The biggest thing that made me leave the class was – I call it – parental abuse. Abusive language, harassment – I had a co-worker who got seven emails between midnight and 5am from a relative asking for things – I mean, he’s someone who literally sleeps during those hours. The parents told me how much they paid for their students’ education and that’s why I worked for them and I should have responded faster.”