Nearly two-thirds of school teachers want to quit

“Teachers are feeling steamrollered . . . they are feeling that things are happening too quickly,” Centre for Marketing Schools director Dr Linda Vining, has found through an extensive survey across Australian schools.

“Through my research comes a sense they feel they are not valued members of the team – they are simply there to work and for many of them that’s not fulfilling.”

The survey also found:

  • SIXTY per cent of teachers said the school’s direction was not clearly communicated.
  • FIFTY-ONE per cent did not feel part of a close-knit school community.
  • FIFTY-FOUR per cent said communication between staff and management was poor.
  • TWENTY-SEVEN per cent said the school principal was not approachable.

Education Minister Jay Weatherill said he had been “concerned about the morale of the workforce” when he was put in charge of the portfolio.

“Many of the Supporting our Teachers initiatives are directly aimed at addressing teacher morale – such as the Public Teaching Awards, a major conference about teaching in the 21st century, a new outstanding teacher classification, a new recruitment policy and the Teacher Renewal Program,” he said.

Association of Independent Schools of SA executive director Garry Le Duff said a more strategic approach to teacher retention was vital.

“It seems unusually high that such a high proportion of people in teaching would be looking for alternative careers,” he said.

Below are what some have said on the topic:

Comment: “I am a retired teacher now living overseas. I found the last years of my career very stressful. The demands on teachers were incredible! I taught in both government and private schools. As an English teacher, I worked most weekends marking and writing programmes. Although I enjoyed teaching, I certainly do not miss the workload and the violent behaviour of some students.”

Comment:There is also the lack of satisfaction of being able to teach children because of the ‘red tape’ reporting that has taken over the teaching time in the classroom. So many teachers have to keep records (important but time consuming) of the progress or ‘outcomes’ of the curriculum, that much of the classroom teaching time is lost. Teachers teach because they want to teach, not to be administrators. The pay certainly no longer reflects the time involved in teaching. (PS. I’m not a teacher but work in the education sector.)”

Comment: Sixty per cent of teachers said the school’s direction was not clearly communicated. A school is a mechanism for producing educated students – what other direction were they hoping for?”

Comment: Why would anybody want to be a teacher when, as somebody of authority, you have no authority and the students have more rights than you. Now children in day-care can’t be put into time-out. Pathetic.”

Comment: All these teachers do is moan and complain. Most of them are overpaid and get too many holidays. They wouldn’t last in the “real world”.”

Comments sourced from: Why Our Teachers Want To Leave |

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Author:Andrew Beato

CEO, Chief Editor and founder of Intentious. Passionate comment enthusiast, amateur philosopher, Quora contributor, audiobook and general knowledge addict.

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3 Comments on “Nearly two-thirds of school teachers want to quit”

  1. April 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    I love this comment: “They wouldn’t last in the “real world.” And most of the “real world” wouldn’t last 5 mins in a classroom with 30 students.

    As one that works both in and out of a classroom, I can tell you now that a day (or week, take your pick) in the life of a teacher is full-on. I’ve worked in the corporate sector a bit, and while the “official” hours are perceived to be longer, they’re nowhere near as draining. The “real world” has slow periods, rush hours, it ebbs and flows. Teachers don’t stop from the moment they arrive. There’s no “coffee run”, rarely a “long lunch” and work most definitely extends into the night and most weekends. Most do a stack of work in their “holidays” too.

    The survey results don’t surprise me though, the teaching profession is experiencing a major overhaul at the moment, with accountability and administrative demands going through the roof. For example, I would never have imagined needing a spreadsheet for my classes when I started teaching 10 years ago. As it is with all professions though, some changes are extremely challenging, but many are well overdue.

  2. James Hill
    April 5, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Those numbers don’t really mean anything without comparing them to other professions. Are teachers more or less satisfied than say, accountants for example? Are they more or less satisfied than the public sector employee? I think a lack of direction, clear leadership and a sense of fractured community in the workplace are symptoms of excessively complex, bureaucratic organisations. Without access to a robust union and generous holiday benefits, I suspect many other professions would report far less satisfaction with the direction of their careers.

    • April 6, 2011 at 12:57 am #

      Very good point. Is there any data out there on morale and satisfaction in any other professions?

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