- 59% of the teachers interviewed had considered leaving the profession in the last six months.
- Drop-out rates for full-time teachers have increased from 6.5% to 9.2% in the last five years. (This equates to almost one in ten teachers now leaving the profession.)
- On average, secondary schools in London placed more than six advertisements for classroom teachers from January to June 2015.
- In November 2014 there were over 1000 unfilled full-time teacher vacancies - more than two and a half times as many as in 2010. In addition, more than 3000 were only temporarily filled (a 30% increase in one year).
- They are keen to make a difference (whether in terms of their students’ development or in terms of social justice).
- They love working with children and young people.
- They are enthusiastic about teaching their subjects.
Ian, a teacher from Buxton Community shares:
‘Sometimes you actually get a bit trapped because when you’re earning a certain amount of money, and you get used to the holidays and the benefits that come along with teaching, even though it’s hard work, to find something else on a comparable wage is very difficult. And I think once you become a bit institutionalized with regards to the terms and holidays then it’d be very difficult to go to a eight ‘til six job with four weeks off again, because that’s one of the main reasons why I’ve stayed.’
The report identifies that only 1 in 3 teachers would recommend teaching to their own child and would not recommend to their own students. This statistic is extremely alarming. Teachers can have a lasting and positive impact on so many students; however, this is rarely appreciated by teachers. Instead, 2 in 3 teachers connect more with the overwhelm, pressure and disconnection of the teaching profession. Additionally, teachers that love teaching seem to be finding it harder than ever before to retain that passion and spark alongside managing the burnout and exhaustion. The question is, why does it have to get to this in the first place?
With an openness and willingness to do whatever I can to continue to connect to my own spark for teaching, I have begun to observe and feel these creeping moments of exhaustion, reflect on them, and move forward and not stay sitting in them.
- ‘What state am I in when I start work each day? ‘
- Am I starting my day in overwhelm even before I walk into the classroom or is this something that builds because I feel I don’t have the tools and/or patience to cope?
- Similarly, am I making time to stop and feel those special moments, to pause and appreciate what I bring?
The inspiration and appreciation of myself and other teachers is what keeps me from becoming just another statistic.