Teacher News

why are talented new teachers leaving the system?

Posted by Sarah Dalziel 5 years ago

This story caught our eye in the TES today, have a read and have your say! "This year, a large number of newly qualified teachers will walk out of a profession that has been, for many, a long-held ambition. According to studies in the UK, US and Australia, attrition rates can be as high as 30 per cent in the first three years of teaching.

Of course, not everybody is suited to teaching, and just wanting to be a teacher and completing the training is no guarantee of success in the classroom. So should we conclude that those who decide to leave just can’t cut it and that this is a natural process?

The research suggests that this is not the case. So what goes wrong? A recent study revealed that, at some stage during teachers first year, most considered leaving teaching. Some of it was the shock of the new, the overwhelming sense of responsibility and sheer exhaustion that fills every day. But so much of it was the realisation that much too often, no one cared about their ideas and innovations.

This would be fine if all we wanted was to keep doing what we have always done. But an ever-growing tail of underachievers around the world tells us that what we have always done isn’t good enough. So what steps should be taken to keep these teachers in the system - and, crucially, to keep their enthusiasm and ideals intact?

What is missing here is an understanding of teaching as a long story, one that starts even before candidates turn up to their teacher preparation courses and continues long after they graduate. We must not ignore personal motivations. These are what bring people into the profession and, when unfulfilled, will push them out again. And, vitally, we must pay close attention to the many remaining chapters in each individual’s story - that is, the schools and systems in which they work. Creative and intelligent teachers aren’t going to stay around in a system that gives them no autonomy and stymies their ideas."

Read more on this story here: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=6403302

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