TAMPA, Fla. — Teachers across the country are quitting their jobs and changing careers, which is being known as “The Great Teacher Resignation.”
What You Need To Know
- Teachers across the country are quitting their jobs and changing careers, which is being known as “The Great Teacher Resignation.”
- They are leaving their teaching jobs due to staff shortages, pandemic-related stress and low pay.
- When teachers who took part in a survey were asked about what school districts can do to keep teachers, they pointed to reasons including higher salaries, hiring more teachers and support staff, and less paperwork.
The National Education Association, the country’s largest teacher’s union, recently conducted a survey that shows 55 percent of its members are thinking about leaving the profession earlier than they had originally planned.
Among some reasons cited were staff shortages, pandemic-related stress and low pay.
When teachers who took part in the survey were asked about what school districts can do to keep teachers, they pointed to reasons including higher salaries, hiring more teachers and support staff, and less paperwork.
Former teacher Leah Sarsfield left teaching to work from home for a global consulting firm on their learning development team.
“To leave teaching was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made because I truly love teaching," she said. "I loved being with the kids, I loved all the parts of teaching."
However, after returning to school post pandemic, she said a lot changed.
“The hours I was putting in and the amount of emotional work it took to be a teacher, I was not being compensated appropriately. And I was getting compensated the same as someone who didn’t put much work in. There’s no growth there,” she said. “Working from home is definitely an adjustment, but I do enjoy it. I enjoy the flexibility in my schedule.”
When faced with that tough decision, Sarsfield found clarity in her kitchen. She took her love of baking and launched her own cake company.
“I have a little business called Sarsfield Sweets and I sell to friends, family, word of mouth. It’s obviously not a very big thing since I work full time, but it’s a fun hobby,” said Sarsfield. “It was something to keep me busy while I was job searching and helped me feel a little bit more like I had a purpose, while job searching can be a little bit stressful and daunting, so it gave me a purpose.”
Sarsfield said she doesn’t regret her decision to leave the classroom.
“I think that when teachers leave the classroom, the first thing that’s asked is, ‘Well, why? You’re so good at this.’ Or, ‘Why are you leaving the kids?’ And it’s not about that,” she said. “It’s about wanting something else, something different, something more, for some people. And we shouldn’t be treating changes like it’s this anomaly to leave.”