One of the problems the current educational system in the USA faces is the high attrition rate of teachers. This refers to the tendency of teachers leaving their jobs after some time. Teaching is not an easy profession. Any person who ever tried to work as a teacher, not necessarily as a professional one, can attest to this fact. This career may have two effects on a person. It can either reward them handsomely or cause them pain and frustration. Sometimes, the career may be extremely demanding.
Many teachers find it hard to stick to the profession since they feel it is becoming a burden. They feel that they are bearing an immensely overwhelming load on their shoulders. This makes them feel tired and weary. As a result, they prefer quitting the career to perform other activities. Recent statistics shows that about 46% of teachers in the USA quit their jobs after five years. Statistics further reveals that the majority of new teachers come as a replacement of those who have quit teaching due to different reasons.
The high teacher turnover rates are extremely burdensome to the government. This is because the government must spend a lot of money on hiring additional staff. It has to advertise available vacancies, shortlist individuals and conduct interviews. Calculations show that the government spends about $7 billion annually on solving teacher attrition related issues. If it spent this money to facilitate the educational system, the educational infrastructure and learning facilities, institutions would experience tremendous improvements.
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In addition, attrition results to substandard education. Educators find this troubling; especially considering the fact it is their primary role to ensure education reaches everyone. Taking into consideration that the most crucial goal of schools is to provide quality education to students, this becomes a serious issue. It undermines the fundamental goal of educationists.
Reasons why teachers leave their career
Difficult work and assignments, lack of resources, role conflicts, reality shocks and isolations are tremendous problems for teachers. They result to widespread attrition among teachers and cause a high level of dissatisfaction with their jobs. Teachers start feeling unappreciated. There is no motivation, and with such a level of discontent, many of them opt to quit. This problem is rather widespread; if the government fails to act, the situation may worsen. There should be early teacher preparations before they take up roles in the corresponding career. This involves counseling teachers and informing them what to expect in the field. Such measures will reduce chances of disillusionment.
The government should educate teachers on various challenges they should expect in the profession. It should also give them tips on how to adapt to diverse situations. Thus, new employees will learn that this career requires commitment and hard work.
Moreover, the government should develop support systems for teachers. Teachers need to support their students. The system should include components such as mentoring, motivation, continuous orientation and induction programs and real life teacher education models to prepare teachers for their new job. Such support systems help to familiarize new teachers with the career. If a teacher undergoes orientation prior to deployment, he or she has a clue on what to expect further on. Moreover, such support systems help to motivate teachers. It makes them feel that they receive support from various stakeholders who respect and value them.
Teachers form the basis of appropriate education; if teachers feel unsatisfied this may negatively affect education standards. People do not appreciate teachers for the work they do. After paying the mortgage, student loans and other bills this may leave teachers with almost nothing, they keep falling behind in their financial obligations, that some of them shall consider an early retirement instead of being in a vicious trap of financial troubles. The society can argue that excellent teachers are not after hefty pay, but who are we kidding money works wonders especially with the teaching morale. Teachers have to deal with elusive parents. It is as if they are the parents and guardians to students. Parents seem to be in a whole different world from teachers. They either have no idea of what is going on in school or have developed an antagonistic and protagonist relationship with the teachers. Teachers wish parents may be involved in their children’s education. Parents extend the work of the educators at home. Once the child goes to school, most parents do not care about anything their child does in school. They leave this burden to teachers to carry.
The condition in the public schools is horrible
The facilities are beat up, from the leaking roofs to the moldy books. This is quite a challenge for teachers, especially with this government where the legislators push funding to private schools. The federal funding now tests results if teachers are not doing well, then that pattern shall go on forever since the low performing schools hardly get any funds. The educators in such schools have no option, but to teach in a school that looks as an old town. Utmost 5 years down the lie the educators in such schools shall give up.
The current students are technophiles
Most of them are on their smart phones and iPods. Students are addicts of the social networks and video games. Students are busy on their phones texting their buddies even when a lesson is in progress. How can the teacher compete with the technology for the limited student’s attention? The challenge comes down to the teachers; every teacher should use the technology to their advantage. Some teachers have face book and twitter accounts where they use them to answer the students’ questions.
The teacher to student ratio is not proportionate
For instance in May this year in Georgia the State funding for schools came down by nearly $1 billion, the state Board of Education voted to lift all class size limits. Now teachers have to teach a multitude of students in their class. There lacks personal attention that is vital in learning. This problem cuts across the country, and it has contributed to the high teacher attrition rate. This is because teachers tend to overwork. With this trend of teacher shortage/overworking, the poorer students continue to fail although the few geniuses end up being stupid because he was not properly taught. Teachers have become classroom managers.
Finally, teachers should be empowered if better results are to be realized. Teachers have been constant criticism from leaders, parents, administrators and the bureaucrats. The low performance of the students is constantly going towards the teachers. The government should respect. It should also give them a proper chance to lead. This constant negative energy directed towards the teachers has not changed things.