We’re in trouble.
48% of educators say they are thinking of leaving the profession. Cohorts are way down in education schools. Some schools have even closed. One district I spoke to told me that 25% of their teachers are uncertified — they can’t find certified ones — and its over 50% uncertified in special education. Most are trying out if they like teaching. Most leave after a few years.
Why? Well, its a low paid profession. That’s what most people think is the challenge and the reason for people leaving… and a quick fix is often a raise by the school board. That’s good, but it isn’t a panacea for teacher retention because:
- That’s not the big problem, since most future educators know that going in
- School districts can’t compete with business in terms of dollars. In Alabama, if a new law passes, experienced teachers will make approximately $76,000 after ten years. Isn’t that special?
That ain’t gonna work. Here’s why.
My 22-year-old great-niece just graduated college with an English degree. She works at a Biotech firm, her first job out of college, in their HR department making appointments for people seeking jobs with the company with their prospective managers. Her starting salary with no experience is $72,000. Her dad, my nephew, an elementary school principal in Massachusetts told me that his teachers have to be there for almost seven years before they earn that. Schools can’t compete on that basis. PERIOD.
There’s a bit more to it
On a recent podcast with Qualtrics, a company that measures employee contentment, my Qualtrics guest told me that they continually discover that the folks who think raising the pay is the answer are wrong. Turns out teachers honestly believe they are professionals… how about that… and are not treated as such in reality by their bosses, the kids and the families, which causes great discontent, as these college-educated pros who are damn good at their job are treated basically like cogs in wheels with little time to prepare, little input in decision making, all the while given more and more responsibility… and with so many people leaving due to the post-pandemic climate, its worse now.
Not to mention imbecilic moves by politically motivated clowns like Virginia’s Governor Youngkin, who wants kids to rat out teachers who are teaching “Critical Race Theory” via a hotline direct to his desk. I don’t think the phone is ringing off the hook, so his naps are probably uninterrupted, but it’s another insult teachers don’t need.
And so underpaid, stressed-out teachers have to work with stressed-out, post-pandemic kids
SEL is the big thing these days, but with a shrinking staff, who’s gonna teach that? And Florida is basically banning math books based on their supposed SEL and Critical Race Theory content… yeah you read that right. It’s tough times for teachers and all educators, and its time to get re-energized, cause if we don’t do that all the time, we’ll run out of time.
At ace-ed.org, we’re trying to take the pulse of educators
We know they need a reset, and we have a training resource that we hope helps keep teachers in their jobs. These are tough times for teachers and students. Amelia Leighton Gamel’s Cooperative Students, Happy Teachers training has proven again and again, all over the country, that a little understanding and compassion can make for huge changes in attitude for teachers and students. Learn about it here.
Please. Let’s not lose any more great educators. You know who I mean. Ones like you.