With summer upon us, educators often view the next few months just like many students do. It is a time to relax and do a summer reset to come into the next school year ready to go.
However, teachers are leaving the field at an alarming rate. It was happening even before the threat of COVID, but with the pandemic, it has accelerated even more. According to the EdWeek Research Center, the latest response from teachers when questioned about whether they are considering exiting the profession should have administrators concerned. In the next two years, 54 percent of the teachers asked are contemplating leaving teaching for good.
Teaching is one of the most challenging jobs out there. Simply put, there is no denying this. Nevertheless, after spending years earning an education degree, perhaps the ones considering leaving the field should look for ways to renew their passion for teaching like those listed below.
Ask Administration for a Grade Level Change
I have done this exact thing a few times in my teaching career. Sometimes, I felt like the lessons I was presenting were getting a bit stale because I was doing the same thing year after year. They might have been exciting lessons for the kids, but for me, I was losing motivation.
When this happened, I would ask for a change and volunteer to teach a different grade level or subject area. In my years of teaching, I have been a certified Reading Specialist, a Technology teacher, a junior high teacher, and have taught grades third through fifth.
Switch School Districts
If you find yourself needing a more significant change to keep you from teaching, apply to teach in a different district. There are some schools still out there where there are only seven or eight students in each classroom. How much less stressful would it be to teach only small class sizes such as these? Find a district that is more what you are looking for. In the long run, even if it is a little less money, if you are happy, then it is worth it.
Use More Technology in Lesson Plans
Students usually love anything to do with technology in school. Not only does it seem to motivate and inspire them, but there are usually fewer behavior disruptions in class when everyone is working quietly on their computer.
If there is one thing that teachers like to do more than educating students, it is helping to strengthen the skills of their colleagues. If you can use more technology in your lessons, it might just be the game-changer you need to avoid teacher burnout. Furthermore, if you are not as strong as you want to be with your tech skills, ask another teacher for help.
Perhaps the whole teaching staff could benefit from a few hours of professional development centered around using technology more in the classroom. We at iAchieve could be of assistance and would be happy to provide professional development to help a teaching staff strengthen any of their perceived weaknesses.
Examine What Is Making You Unhappy
Before you throw in the towel on education, consider doing some internal therapy and figuring out what it is that is making you so unhappy at work. Once you determine what the problem is, circle back and fix it.
There is usually a solution to most problems if you consider all the options. For instance, if you do not enjoy grading papers for hours on end at home, assign less homework or grade assignments in class. If the committees you are on at school bring you down, tell the administration you need a break.