Teachers only

Why teachers quit teaching

A recent survey has revealed the main reasons why teachers are leaving the profession, and the careers they move onto once they have made the switch. The survey also revealed that workload and bureaucracy are the top reasons why teachers leave, followed by bullying behaviours, and poor school leadership all adding to the burden of many. A lack of a sensible work-life balance and stress were also cited as the top reasons for why teachers decide to leave.

Here are some of the top reasons why teachers quit the jobs they once loved:

1. Challenging work conditions

According to the survey, nearly two-thirds of the interviewed feel their jobs are always or often stressful—roughly double the rates of stress experienced by the general workforce.

Sandra M. tells us, “Educators are bombarded with paperwork, ridiculous curriculum, and lack of time along with unrealistic expectations.” Joan F. agrees, citing a laundry list of complaints. “Unmanageable class size, lack of materials, crappy building conditions, working 10-15 hour days and weekends, ineffective administrators, frivolous meetings and regulations, no support for discipline problems, etc.”

Being a new teacher can be especially overwhelming. Without the proper support, it’s tough to make a go of it. Clarissa S. quit her first teaching job after just two months. She blames the “inadequate preparation by administration and school board for the school year, the challenging working conditions and unrealistic expectations for first-year teachers.” Another newcomer, Cristina M., found herself frustrated working on contract and credited her departure to “difficulty securing permanent employment.”

2. Not enough support, not enough respect

Many teachers feel the negative effects of what they perceive as a lack of respect. A recent report from Penn State University claims among professional occupations, teachers rate lowest in feeling that their opinions count at work.

“There seems to be little or no old-fashioned respect for teachers today,” Anna D. tells us. Whether the perceived lack of respect comes from students, parents, or administrators, it takes a toll. “Stress, lack of respect, and support,” says Erin T., “It’s tough, even after 16 years.” Georgia H. suggests, “How about nerves gone to bits as a reason why teachers are leaving?”

In addition, many teachers report feeling micro-managed by administrators and parents. “Admin just doesn’t respect teachers,” Rosanna O. claims. “We have little to NO say.” Carole R. is frustrated by “lawnmower parents, who expect their child to get an ‘A’ when they are only doing ‘C’ work.”

3. Testing and data collection

The demands teachers are feeling as a result of high-stakes standardized testing and the emphasis on data collection is definitely a hot-button issue among teachers who are leaving. According to another survey of classroom teachers, 72 percent replied that they felt moderate or extreme pressure to increase test scores from both school and district administrators.

Bonnie L. vehemently sums up her frustration with just two words, “Data collection!” and Kevin P. tells us he hates being part of what he characterizes as a “punitive and abusive test-and-punish system.” Amy L. quit after just three years because of what she calls the “teach to the test” mentality. “My first year, my principal called me into his office and told me to only teach to the standards, not teach anything outside them, and to not tell my students I was trying to prepare them for the real world or college. I started looking for a way out right then.”

4. No longer looking out for kids’ best interests

Bonnie D. left after 30 years of teaching because she felt the system was no longer acting in the best interest of all students. “Everything became all about passing the ‘almighty test,’” she says. “Decisions were made by the administrators to concentrate only on those students who could perform well. Call me old-fashioned, but I always did my best to reach and teach every student in my room, not simply the ones who had the best chance of passing a test.” In addition, many teachers worry about the effect high-stakes testing has on kids. “Sometimes tests coincide with a bad day,” Michelle S. tells us, “or a day when a student is just not feeling it. That is an incredible amount of stress on kids—especially those classified as ‘bubble kids.’”

5. In the end, family takes priority

Teachers are a particularly tenacious lot, but some teachers are leaving because they have decided to invest their energy closer to home. “After eight years of teaching and 20 years of dreaming about teaching, I have left the profession,” says Cedar R. “Due to an overall lack of support, I found it very difficult to balance teaching and raising my two children.”

Heather A. expresses her disappointment this way, “I realized that the school system is broken beyond repair. Years and years of spackle and duct tape just can’t hold it together anymore. When you realize that you wouldn’t send your own children to your school … you quit and homeschool them!

Why Do Teachers Leave Infographic


adapted from ukedchat.com

Classroom Resources

European year of cultural Heritage 2018


2018 is the European year of Cultural heritage which was officially inaugurated at the European Culture Forum on 7 December 2017 in Milan. In 2018 there will be many events and initiatives to bring citizens closer to their cultural heritage and strengthen their sense of belonging to a common European space.

Why Cultural Heritage?

Cultural heritage has a universal value for us as individuals, communities and societies. It is important to preserve and pass on to future generations. You may think of heritage as being ‘from the past’ or static, but it actually evolves through our engagement with it. What is more, our heritage has a big role to play in building the future of Europe. That is one reason why we want to reach out to young people in particular during the European Year.

Cultural heritage comes in many shapes and forms.

  • tangible – for example, buildings, monuments, artefacts, clothing, artwork, books, machines, historic towns, archaeological sites.
  • intangible – practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – and the associated instruments, objects and cultural spaces – that people value. This includes language and oral traditions, performing arts, social practices and traditional craftsmanship.
  • natural – landscapes, flora and fauna.
  • digital – resources that were created in digital form (for example digital art or animation) or that have been digitalised as a way to preserve them (including text, images, video, records).

Cultural heritage at school

Linking school projects and activities carried out in the class to the European year of Cultural Heritage is a good way to help young people reflect on their experiences and interests and confront with their peers at local and European level. The European Council has published “Cultural heritage and cultural diversity lessons – A handbook for teacher” to provide an introduction to the themes related to the topic. The book contains 8 lessons on  Cultural heritage and cultural diversity.  Each lesson unit has a thematic focus and contains learning objectives, background information and activities for grades 3-6 and 6-9. After evaluating the level of the students, the teacher can choose a lesson that is grade appropriate. The lessons are designed for a forty minute class period, yet activities can be adapted or revised to be used over several class periods.


When You’re a Small Town Teacher, All Eyes Are On You

Have you ever felt like a rock star or a celebrity? I did the year I taught third grade in a central California farming community. I was new to town, and I had landed a job at a great school with a supportive administration, caring colleagues, friendly families, and engaged students. Actually, maybe they were a little too engaged. I swear they were watching my every move. I almost felt like I was being stalked.

A week into the school year, one of my students greeted me on a Monday morning with,

“I saw you Saturday, Ms Magee.”

“Really?” I answered, without thinking much of it.

“Yes,” the student continued, “you were wearing bright pink sweats!”

Immediately my mind took an inventory of what I did on Saturday: I mowed my lawn, threw the ball for my dog at the park, dropped off books at the library … and yes, I remember wearing my super bright pink sweats the entire time. Ugh. The bell rang, and I started the school day, soon forgetting the conversation. But this was just the beginning. Continue reading “When You’re a Small Town Teacher, All Eyes Are On You”

Just for Fun

Learn how to pronounce Saoirse Ronan from Saoirse Ronan

Saoirse Ronan is an Irish and American actress best known for her role of a murdered girl seeking vengeance in The Lovely Bones (2009). On Sunday, March 4, during the Oscar ceremony, she might win the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for her star turn in Lady Bird. For 10 years now, Ronan has had to coach talk show hosts, red carpet interviewers, and fans on both sides of the pond on how to pronounce her name. Watch the video below, and you’ll see just how often Ronan is forced to discuss that it’s—maybe write this down—“Ser-sha, like inertia”. And don’t be distracted by the list that its creator made of all the wrong, though very entertaining, ways.

Teachers only

How Teacher Bashing has Harmed Real Teachers


Teachers are under fire today because it’s folk wisdom that teachers are uniquely responsible for what happens to children.  But, actually, it’s not folk wisdom. There is a kind of a wiser understanding of how children grow and develop and learn that recognizes that children’s first educator is their family and that nurturance really matters.  And on the first day of school, there is already an achievement gap between the children of the wealthy and children of the poor and it’s also correlated with children from different ethnic backgrounds, where poverty and affluence matter a great deal.

So teachers have an immense impact on the school, within the classroom, but their impact is dwarfed as compared to the influence of the family.  So it’s easy for today’s corporate reform movement to say teachers are uniquely responsible, but that goes against everything that we know, both from neuroscience and from social science.  Children’s brains and children’s attitudes are formed in the first five years of life and children’s opportunity to learn is affected by the homes in which they grow, the communities in which they grow, their respect for learning, their respect for teachers.

So, on the one hand, the corporate reform movement will say teacher quality is all that matters.  We care so much about teacher quality.  On the other hand, millions of teachers are demoralized by their line about if the scores are low, it’s your fault.  Nothing else matters.  The family doesn’t matter.  Poverty doesn’t matter.  The social conditions don’t matter.  Only you matter.  And what this does is to make teachers responsible for things beyond their control.  They should certainly be responsible for what is within their control.   Continue reading “How Teacher Bashing has Harmed Real Teachers”