More and more teachers are leaving the teaching profession.

Yes, I suppose I’m part of the problem, not part of the solution. But I didn’t exactly leave the teaching profession: I just retired from my position at Weston High School. Being “semi-retired,” I’m still teaching every summer at the Crimson Summer Academy (CSA). This year’s CSA session started yesterday for the students and some teachers; it starts tomorrow for me and Wednesday for others. I’m looking forward to teaching in person for the first time in three years—looking forward, but doing so with a bit of trepidation.

Anyway, it is distressing how many teachers are either retiring early or quitting to switch careers. Distressing, but totally understandable. Last year and this have been exceptionally tough on teachers, both because of COVID and because of politics.

National Public Radio surveyed teachers to ask how this year went. You can listen to their short (eight-minute) report within that link, or you can settle for three transcribed quotes here:

  • “The teachers are just feeling overwhelmed, and they’re breaking down underneath it. I find people crying in the bathroom.”
  • “Students were learning in isolation, then they came back, and they’re overwhelmed, and they’ve experienced a trauma. And unfortunately, all schools aren’t equipped to deal with the trauma that the students have experienced during the pandemic.”
  • “My fear is that during the summer, they’ll just say, ‘I just can’t do this anymore, because it was just too hard.’”

Sadly, too many will probably do just that. Let’s hope not. Nevertheless, I’m glad I (semi-)retired when I did.

Categories: Teaching & Learning