The number of teachers who quit is alarming, according to a survey done by the Department of Education. The survey shows that over 50 percent of teachers quit after five years or less.
This means that more than half of all teachers are leaving the profession within their first five years. While this might not seem like an issue for experienced educators, it can be detrimental to young students, especially those in lower-income areas where schools may have difficulty finding replacements on short notice.
According to a recent study released by the Learning Policy Institute, in the last 10 years, teacher turnover has increased from 8% to 11%. The increase in turnover is not due to more people leaving teaching for other professions.
In fact, 90% of teachers who left during this time did so because they were dissatisfied with their work conditions and wanted better opportunities.It’s easy to see why when you look at the following statistics:
The average starting salary for a teacher in America is $35k per year according to Forbes Magazine. A new report published by NPR says that only 60% of public schools offer access to affordable housing within 10 miles of school property.
Furthermore, many teachers are forced into taking second jobs on top of their full-tim worke schedule just to make ends meet.
The Learning Policy Institute report goes on to say that of the teachers who quit, many consider leaving more than once before actually taking action. The main reason they stay is because of their love for teaching and students.
They often feel like no one will replace them or be able to do it as good as they can. Over time this takes its toll on teachers and makes them leave behind what was once a dream job.
Teacher job satisfaction has dropped 15 points since 2009, from 59% who were very satisfied to 44% who are very satisfied, the lowest level in over 20 years.
The ercentage of teachers who say they are very or fairly likely to leave the profession has increased by 12 points since 2009, from 17% to 29%.
The percentage of teachers who do not feel their job is secure has grown since 2006 from eight percent to 34%.
Majorities of parents and teachers say that public school teachers are treated as professionals by the community (71% of parents, 77% of teachers), that public school teachers’ health insurance benefits are fair for the work they do (63% of parents, 67% of teachers).
And that public school teachers’ retirement benefits are fair for the work they do (60% of parents, 61% of teachers).
Slightly more than half (53%) of parents and two-thirds (65%) of teachers say that public school teachers’ salaries are not fair for the work they do.
Teachers with lower job satisfaction are less likely than others to feel that their job is secure (56% vs. 75%) or that they are treated as a professional by the community (68% vs. 89%).
Teachers with lower job satisfaction are more likely to be in schools that have had layoffs of teachers (49% vs. 37%) or other school staff (66% vs. 49%), or the reduction or elimination of arts or music programs (28% vs. 17%), after-school programs (34% vs. 23%), or health or social services (31% vs. 23%).
Teachers with lower job satisfaction are more likely to report that in the last year they have seen increases in: average class size (70% vs. 53%), students and families needing health or social services (70% vs. 56%), students coming to school hungry (40% vs. 30%), students leaving.
Teachers in schools with high parent engagement are more than twice as likely as those in schools with low parent engagement to say they are very satisfied with their job (57% vs. 25%).
Parents in schools with high parent engagement are more likely than those in schools with low engagement to be optimistic that student achievement will be better in five years (73% vs. 45%), to agree that they and their child’s teachers work together to help their child succeed in school (96% vs. 55%).
Other parents at their child’s school as excellent or good in effectively engaging them in their child’s school and education (82% vs. 21%).
Most parents say that the following are absolutely essential or very important sources of information about their child’s school: their child (96%), individual teachers (92%) and general written communications from the school (88%).
(From the Metlife Survey of American Teachers: Resource)
Low pay, increased responsibilities and high-stakes standardized testing – these are just some of the reasons why more talented teachers are leaving the profession than ever before.
Second careers for teachers can take many different forms. For some, it means a complete career change out of teaching, looking for jobs for teachers outside of education. For others, it means going back to school and earning a higher degree – such as a Doctor of Education – and moving into administration.
One in four American teachers reported considering leaving their job by the end of the last academic year, in a survey taken in January and February by the Rand Corp., a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization.
There are many reasons teachers choose to quit their profession. As a result, it’s important for schools and districts to understand why this is happening in order to make changes where necessary.