“Some 300,000 public-school teachers and other staff left the field between February 2020 and May 2022, a nearly 3% drop in that workforce, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Worn down by the challenges of teaching through the past few years, more educators say they are considering doing the same: A National Education Association poll conducted this year found 55% of teachers said they would leave education sooner than planned, up from 37% last August.”
- “School’s Out for Summer and Many Teachers Are Calling It Quits” by Kathryn Dill, The Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2022
What is driving this exodus of American teachers from their classrooms?
Some factors Kathryn Dill cites in her article include:
- Staffing shortfalls in the post-Covid era
- Debates and conflicts over masking protocols
- Political battles over what can – and cannot – be discussed in classrooms
- Increasing worries about school violence since the school shootings in Uvalde, Texas
What Will Discourage Teachers from Quitting?
In “To Keep Teachers from Quitting, Address These 5 Key Issues,” an article by Marina Whiteleather published in Education Week on December 7, 2021, makes the following suggestions:
- Provide mentors who can coach teachers about what will work in their classrooms – and what will not.
- Do an excellent job of managing the schools where teachers work – so they feel safe in their classrooms.
- Listen to what teachers are saying – and take action to address their safety and satisfaction.
- Address staffing shortages so teachers will have the support they need.
- Train teachers on better classroom-management skills – so they feel safer and more in control.
- Provide mental health days so teachers can refresh and regroup.
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Black Teachers Needed More Than Ever