Teachers hold 3.8 million jobs in elementary and secondary U.S. public and private schools, representing approximately 4% of the total civilian workforce. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2006).
On average, a third of the newly hired teachers leave during their first three years; almost half leave during the first five years (National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future [NCTAF], 2003).
Here is a table representing how teachers who left the profession, compared various aspects of their current occupation with teaching.
What an eye opener!
Teachers who left the profession rated only two aspects of the teaching profession higher than their present non-teaching position:
1) Benefits 2) Job Security.
The biggest differences cited?
1) Autonomy or control over workload – (65.2% vs 13.7%)
2) Manageability of workload – (60.4% vs 13.5%)
3) General work conditions – (50.9% vs 4.3%)
4) Intellectual challenge – (51.8% vs 17.4%)
5) Opportunities for professional advancement – (53.9%vs 18.1%)
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bad news….
Check out these disparities:
1) Professional prestige – (57.7% vs 15.8%)
2) Recognition and support from administrators – (46.8% vs 19.7%)
3) Opportunities for Professional Development – (41.7% vs 19.0%)
So, we have overloaded educators, with little autonomy, little opportunity for professional growth, poor working conditions, minimum intellectual challenge, poor support from administrators, and minimal professional development opportunities.
Is it any wonder why the system is failing so many of our kids?
It’s not just failing our children; it’s failing our educators, too.
“..in comparison to the high school student dropout rate, the teacher turnover rate over an equivalent four-year period is greater than the student population dropout rate.” Laird, DeBell, and Chapman (2006)
Will integrating technology into this environment make a real difference or do we need to transform the environment?