Diary submitted by Pariise D., Valencia, 2020
Unfortunately, teaching for some can be a very difficult choice of employment. Every year, hundreds of good teachers choose to leave the profession. In the short essay, I am going to discuss the negative side of teaching and consider the many reasons why capable and great teachers choose to quit. Using personal experiences along with online articles I hope to further explain the reason behind many teachers’ decisions.
The Guardian Newspaper exposes the shocking high figures of individuals leaving secondary education. One of the reasons is due to burnout. The job is highly demanding and at times it can be difficult or even impossible to find a healthy balance between work and play. The working hours often do not leave much time for other important elements to the job which include but are not limited to lesson planning and marking students work. Having taught in a Language school, I found this to be my greatest challenge. Finding that balance was very challenging, particularly when we consider other elements that may make ones journey harder such as disability for having a family. These additional burdens are not considered and so it can often be the responsibility of the individual to make it work.
Exhausted by the demands of the job can lead to poor concentration and an overall lacking of commitment and engagement to work. This is not only disadvantageous to the teacher who is no longer working to their best ability but it also negatively impacts the students and the quality of teaching they receive.
Another reason people leave is due to limitations in grading students. Both the public and private educational system place an important value on good grades. With this, it maintains the school’s reputation and can bring with it funding. As a teacher, failing a student can lead to heavy parental complaints and piles of paperwork. It can be a daunting process. On the one hand, teachers are ethically bound to address a student’s failing needs. On the contrary, in highlighting a failure, it can lead to less funding or in my own personal experience, pressure from parents who feel they are not getting their money’s worth. In many ways, teaching can be viewed as a corporate business, the system only thrives where clients succeed.
To conclude, while all things in life come with pros and cons, having worked in a teaching environment I most definitely have enjoyed it. The opportunity for personal growth, and the chance to impact students’ academic progress are reasons why many teachers like me go to work every day.
5 Reasons Why Good Teachers Quit Within 5 Years. (2018, July 11). Brown Girl Magazine. https://www.browngirlmagazine.com/2018/07/5-reasons-teachers-quit/
Tapper, J. (2018, May 13). Burned out: Why are so many teachers quitting or off sick with stress? The Observer. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/may/13/teacher-burnout-shortages-recruitment-problems-budget-cuts