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That is it. You can take this teacher job and give it to someone else. I don't want it anymore. What was that? You just saw a young teacher quitting his job. That can't be right. Teachers go on and teach until they retire. Uhuh, not anymore. Teachers of all ages are quitting all over the place. But why? I'll tell you why. I'm gonna take a dive into why so many teachers are leaving the profession.

In the landscape of education. A disconcerting phenomenon has emerged as an ever increasing number of teachers are bidding, farewell to their noble profession. The growing exodus of teachers from classrooms has become a cause for concern, raising questions about the underlying causes and potential consequences.

Is there actually a teacher shortage according to N P R as of October, 2022, after the school year had already begun? 45% of US public schools had at least one teacher vacancy. That's according to limited federal data. According to limited federal data. There are more teachers now than be before the pandemic, but certain kinds of teachers are still in short supply, qualified special education, science, and math teachers are among the hardest defined, according to federal data. Between February, 2020 and May, 2022, it was estimated that over 300,000 public school teachers and other staff quit due to burnout. Up to 30% of new teachers are quitting their job. Within five years of teaching. The percentage of teachers choose choosing early retirement or a career change has gone up by 55% in the last 30 years, according to Think

Speaking on this is Nicole Grantham. She's been a director of special education for five years. I started teaching, that was back in like 2000, I wanna say three. When we started our cohort, it was like 2,700 teachers. By the time we got to maybe 2000 and like 15, the last conversation I had out of the 2,700 people, 2,800 people that started that. At that time we were down to 19. Of us that stayed with the, the whole career moving forward. Some of us went into administration, but as a whole it was 19 of us.

Also speaking on, this is Max Vikhter. He's been a school principal for three years."Since I started as a school leader in 2020, yes. I think that's, that's a well established, well-known phenomenon that many of us have experienced in many different ways".

Why it's a big problem. Teachers quitting is a significant problem with wide ranging implications. Firstly, it leads to a loss of experienced and skilled educators, which can negatively impact the quality of education. Teachers who have accumulated years of experience bring invaluable knowledge and expertise to the classroom. Benefiting students and contributing to their academic and personal growth. When teachers quit, schools often struggle to find suitable replacements. Resulting in increased class sizes, disrupted learning environments, and a lack of continuity and instruction.

I, I think, I think the cons definitely outweigh, you know, any pros that you can come up with, uh, with a situation like that. Um, cause we're seeing probably, um, you know, we're, we're not gonna know all the ramifications of that until years later. Uh, when the students we're educating or trying to educate are in our position and they're the adults. And if we haven't equipped them and sent quality teachers alongside them, we've done them a great disservice. And I, I don't believe we'll see the fruits of that until much later.

Quality education, that becomes tough because you're putting more pressure, more roles, responsibilities on that teacher with lesson planning, paperwork, you know, hours at after work where people wanna go home and be with their families. They're not able to because they're grading papers. And so if you have 40 students in your classroom, you got a grade 40 papers, see, know what I'm saying? Mm-hmm. Versus if we had more teachers, 20 kids in a classroom, 20 pa, you know, 20 papers, do the math. More quality of life, quality of student learning, so forth.

So why are teachers quitting early? The workload and stress associated with teaching have have become increasingly overwhelming. Teachers are often required to manage large class sizes. Meet demanding curriculum standards and handle administrative tasks, all while addressing the diverse needs of their students. This high pressure environment coupled with limited resources and support can lead to burnout and a decline in job satisfaction. Additionally, Teachers' salaries often do not reflect the level of education and responsibility they hold. Making it financially challenging for many educators to make ends meet.

I say technology because teachers that have come into the profession as a teacher are having a hard time keeping up with technology and you have to be able to do several different things you have to be able to teach on, not on online, but you got to also be able to teach from a podium of, you know, a smart board, which sometimes teachers are not savvy enough to understand how the smart board works.

I think, uh, expectations, have not been aligned with what the needs are in front of them, uh, the supports, um, you know, my response as a principal is gonna be a little different, but I think the supports have been there, but it hasn't always been directed, uh, in the right ways. Um, you know, I think, uh, uh, there's just been a lot of environmental factors as well. Student needs continue to go up and, uh, neither of the supports nor the comp nor the compensation have always kept up.

Average salary teacher pay has stagnated while the cost of of a four year degree has nearly doubled. According to federal data, teachers in the US earned an average of 66,397 and 2021 to 22, but that number highs the enormous variation in school funding and teacher pay from state to state, the average salary in Connecticut is 81,000 $185, while the average in Mississippi is just. 47,000 $162. At the same time, most school districts still require at least four years of college to be a teacher. And while federal data shows inflation adjusted teacher pay has been stagnant since 1990, the inflation adjusted cost of college as nearly doubled from about 15,000 a year in 1990 to 29,000 in 2020.

I think it's a huge factor because I don't, look teachers, doctors are never gonna get paid as much as the N B A player, N F L. That's just the way our nation is. America is, but I really believe teachers at this point should be getting what they're valued.

You know, as a profession. I would be supportive to say that teachers should get paid more. Uh, I would also, by the same token, be okay with there being you know, uh, if if the pay and the supports are there, then we can absolutely have an expectation, uh, that this is a, this is, there's a standard of professionalism. Um, but I think they're, by and large, uh, I think you're gonna find more teachers that are doing a great job and are not getting paid enough mm-hmm. Than the other scenario.

Why is replacing teachers hard teaching requires a unique set of skills and expertise that cannot be easily replicated. Effective educators possess not only subject knowledge, but also the ability to engage and inspire students, adapt teaching methods to individual needs, and create a positive and inclusive learning environment. These qualities are cultivated through years of experience and professional development, making it difficult to find suitable replacements who can immediately meet these standards.

The good ones are good ones. The good ones are very hard to replace. Yeah. Uh, we're in a district that is paying substantially less, uh, than a lot of the other districts around. And I've experienced, you know, uh, people, uh, go through our interview process in years past, um, and turn away decline offers, uh, much more frequently than I would've expected to happen. I mean, in my first year. Yeah. It was like third to half of the people that we would extend offers to would see the number and say, you know, I don't know that that's gonna work for me.

It's hard to replace teachers today because, you know, it's, it's so many different careers out there today, and you ask a student coming out of college, it's like, do you wanna be a teacher? I don't wanna be around kids all day.

What does it take to become a teacher now? Licensing in your state, according to public service, every state has its own licensure requirements for teachers. Therefore, prospective teachers must check for specifics in their state. Future teachers must do the following to become a licensed teacher. However, at a minimum, have a bachelor's degree complete an an accredited teacher preparation program. Pass a criminal background check, earn sufficient scores on basic skills and or subject matter exams, such as PR praxis, core praxis subject assessments, or the Praxis knowledge for teaching test.

Schools, school districts have appealed to their states saying, we really need people. And as a result, they've, they've lowered some of their requirements and I don't know how I feel about that because some of those requirements are standards that are, that keep everybody accountable and ensure that there's a standard that's consistent across schools and anywhere you go. Um, at the same time, it, it is a hoop that if I have people like in our private school who are already practicing, cause we are not, we're not, we're benefit from having that same standard, but we're not required, our accreditation only requires a bachelor's degree.

Well, I mean, I wish I could take back time. I mean, It would be easier because now you have everything at your fingertips. See, before, you had to develop everything, but now you could just touch that smart board or you can go onto your computer and they have everything laid out for you, you're not reinventing the wheel, it goes back to understanding technology, and if you don't understand technology and where kids are at today, yes, it will be difficult for a teacher. Does that make sense? So yeah.

What can be done to stop teacher burnout? Stopping teacher burnout requires a combination of systemic and individual measures systemically and involves reducing administrative burdens, streamlining paperwork, and providing adequate resources and support. It also entails fair compensation that reflects the value of teacher's work. Additionally, offering comprehensive. Professional development mentoring programs, and promoting a positive school culture that emphasizes work-life balance can contribute to preventing burnout.

I actually think it needs to start from the very beginning, from the university level. I think the teacher prep program needs to be looked at. Um, uh, I had a positive experience where, where I went to school, um, overall, not for me, but what I saw, um, was from the very first steps of the profession. You have young people that are exploring career paths. They're, and they're looking to become a teacher. Um, I think the universities that place those candidates in front of children immediately, as early as they can, those are the ones that are preparing them well. And I think a lot of programs that may, uh, wait and you don't get your experience in a classroom until you're student teaching, then, um, you're wasting people's time and money in some cases. Um, and, and, and in the inevitable outcome that somebody realizes. That, you know, this might not be the right profession for them, but by then it's too late because they're so invested.

I think what needs to happen is that administrators and teachers, even maybe the government, they all need to stop and look at what we're teaching today and tomorrow and prepare for that. And we need to train our administrators, train our teachers on what that child looks like for today and tomorrow in the future. And that's, that's the, that's the answer to all of that. And once we can tap into that and get that on board, then we can move forward with, okay, now we can change the minds of teachers today.

Thank you for watching T F D deep dives. For more reports like that, please make sure you like and subscribe, reporting to you from Velva, Illinois. I am Ben from T F D Supplies.

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