No one ever said that teaching would be easy. While it is a highly noble profession, and many people who first enter it get caught up in its romanticizing, certain drawbacks accompany the job.
How Many Teachers Leave Education Entirely?
According to some of the latest data, about 44 percent of teachers leave the profession within the first five years. Educators are becoming disenchanted with envisioning themselves teaching for the next few decades for one reason or another. And there are plenty of reasons to choose from.
More than 50 percent of teachers have a Master’s degree or higher. Most jobs with a Master’s degree attached to their name will start with an average salary of $70,000 or more, according to the website Statista. On the other hand, a beginning salary for a teacher in most states will be approximately $35,000 a year. A significant enough discrepancy between those two figures would make even the noblest educator think twice about changing careers.
With many states lengthening the number of years teachers must be in the classroom before retiring with a full pension, it should concern all educators. After all, do you want to teach until you are 65 to 70 years old? And if you retire before then, can you afford the hit to your pension?
Not Like the Old Days
It wasn’t long ago that teachers were recognized as pillars of the community. But with social media nowadays, one unhappy parent can make life difficult by posting attacks online for all to see. Instead of feeling valued, many educators wonder if being in the classroom is worth the hassle. If you are concerned about your mental health, and most are, then a less public and less stressful job may be something you would appreciate more.
How to Keep Good Teachers in the Classroom
Losing a teacher here and there in a school district when their hearts are no longer in it is not the worst. But losing a valued educator who is excellent with the students and able to develop responsible children effectively needs to be addressed.
So how do you keep the good teachers? It may take some outside-the-box thinking.
All teachers are provided the same salary increase once they have taught a certain number of years in the district. Can you think of any other profession where this happens? Everyone receives the same salary based on how many years they have been teaching? Does that seem fair?
If you want to keep the good teachers and prevent them from leaving:
- Pay them accordingly.
- Don’t worry about the salary table.
- Reward the teachers that are putting in more effort.
One of the significant factors in teachers leaving the profession is a lack of discipline by some students and parents. Just one or two bad apples can make a school year feel never-ending. Rather than have repeat offenders causing problems every day, school districts and administrators need to suspend misbehaving students more often in severe cases when warranted.
Allow Some Flexibility
If a good teacher is considering leaving, offer them a change instead. Allow them to either teach a different grade level or even another subject. It might just do the trick!
Allow Different Retirement Accounts
While the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) seems to work well for many, providing another option such as a 401K would allow teachers to decide for themselves when they can afford to retire.
Keep Teachers From Feeling Overwhelmed
Just like with students, teachers could use a bit of support to broaden their skills. Through some valuable professional development, teachers can manage their classroom and their lives better, which could allow them to stay in the profession.
Luckily, iAchieve provides professional development for many subjects and issues. We can work with a small group of teachers or the entire teaching staff on the topic of your choice. It could just make the difference that is needed.
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