Almost every single teacher (26 to be exact) is quitting one school, and a thumb-stopping tweet about it is putting Twitter in a frenzy. The tweet may have been a harsh wake-up call for some, but guess who’s not shocked … teachers.
Earlier this week, Angela, aka @wokeSTEMteacher, from Chicago, Illinois, shared in a tweet that her mom’s school was losing 26 teachers after this year. “All the kindergarten teachers, all the 4th-grade teachers, all the 5th-grade teachers, all but one 1st-grade teacher…” writes Angela. The list of teachers leaving the school goes on.
Today my mom told me 26 teachers are quitting from her school after this year. That’s:
– all the kindergarten teachers
– all the 4th grade teachers
– all the 5th grade teachers
– all but one 1st grade teacher
– all but one 2nd grade teacher
– all but one 3rd grade teacher
— Angela (@wokeSTEMteacher) March 22, 2022
And here’s the thing, Angela’s story isn’t unique. It’s common, in fact. Many other teachers replied to the tweet sharing stats about the number of teachers leaving their schools too.
“If my personal calculations are correct, 37 percent of teachers at my MS will be leaving in June,” shares @SWAholding4ever. “Not sure about them, but I don’t think I will make it back into the classroom.”
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Another teacher chimes in about the Great Resignation of Teachers in their district, “My district has had 70+ resignations and retirements so far this school year,” shares @America_RFA, “Up from the 20s last year.”
Teacher burnout is nothing new, but now more than ever, the exodus of educators is causing jaws to drop, with 50 percent of educators saying they are considering leaving. Could this be a sign of things to come? According to teachers in the thread, the answer is a resounding YES.
“This is everywhere, people,” writes @_rissa__. “There will be a serious teacher shortage next year, and no one is ready.”
There is no shortage of reasons for teachers calling it quits on education, but here are a few of the common threads that stood out in this trending Twitter thread.
Out of touch administration
“Tell me you have an administration problem without telling me,” writes @DrDeeKnight.
@WokeSTEMTeacher explains that the primary reason for the mass exit of teachers is a lack of support from a new principal who is “on a power trip,” something that other teachers in the thread related to.
“The principal implemented a rule where students had to stand up with their hands behind their heads after eating lunch (called assuming the position) to make sure they’d stopped eating when lunch was over,” said @WokeSTEMTeacher.
Other teachers related to poorly thought-out policies like this one from out-of-touch leadership being a primary reason for calling it quits.
“It seems like more and more admins are approaching their role as one of ‘management, not as ‘support’ leadership.” says @ItsAMrY.
The pay is atrocious. Literally, delivery drivers make more.
Despite having a master’s degree and 20+ years of teaching experience, @BigTParker made more money as a delivery driver than he did as a teacher. “I made more doing Instacart during the pandemic, working on average 34 hours a week, than I did any year of teaching,” he says. “I’ll never go back.”
The post-pandemic expectations are impossible
Not only are we literally paid less than delivery drivers, but the standards we’re expected to maintain are impossible. This middle school teacher with 32-student classes from mixed levels shared her perspective. “Every kid has major gaps from Covid, but we are supposed to meet pre-Covid standards by some miracle,” said @abbey_jo_fo_sho. “[and] do it with no help.”
She goes on, “Lots of us still love teaching and love kids—but unless you have supervisors with some perspective, it is like pushing a boulder up a mountain. Then you realize that many other professions offer more money, and you have to carry pebbles down a pathway.”
A harsh reality for future teachers
Push boulders or carry pebbles… What message does this send to future teachers? Not only are we losing teachers at record rates, but teacher hopefuls are sitting in the wings and wondering if their dreams of becoming a teacher are really worth it. “I really had my heart set on becoming a teacher,” writes @kaylamicheli6. “Is it something I should give up?”
“I am in school working on getting my degree to become a teacher, and this is disturbing, to say the least,” shares @marky_phl.
@asharelis has been a teacher for 30+ years. She chimed in with her advice for those considering becoming teachers, “You might want to seriously consider changing your major. I totally discouraged my kids from going into education.”
At the end of the day, it’s the teachers and kids who lose most. “Nobody’s hearts hurt more than teachers who genuinely love teaching who are forced to leave for their well-being,” says @ThompsonSephora.
Is there a mass exodus of educators at your school? We’d love to hear about your experiences. Please feel free to share in the comments or in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
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It is crazy to think when I was younger that becoming a teacher is one of the best jobs. Nowadays teachers aren’t appreciated for all the effort put into their careers. Many teachers are selfless and love helping others. This is what encouraged me to take on this profession. This blog sounds like teachers don’t get paid enough, not good enough benefits, and school districts have unnecessary rules. I hear this a lot more often as I get closer to my degree. If you want to become a teacher, you must have a passion.