Teaching in Cali (and everywhere): Not really a surprise
New teachers in California have a rough time feeling that they can really sustain a decent life while in the profession:
Teachers stifled by bureaucracy and blocked from making decisions in their own classrooms are leaving teaching in droves, according to a new study by Cal State University's Teacher Quality Institute.
Nearly 22 percent of California teachers leave teaching after four years, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. With this type of exodus, the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning projects a 33,000-teacher shortage in California by 2015.
At high-poverty schools, one in 10 teachers leaves each year, either for a different campus or a new occupation entirely.
"It's students from our most challenging schools who suffer the most," said Jack O'Connell, state superintendent of schools. "We really do have a revolving door."
The 1,900 teachers surveyed by the institute said they left mainly because of the endless amounts of paperwork, constant interruptions and fruitless meetings that take time away from actual instruction, said Ken Futernick, principal author of the study and director of K-12 Studies at the institute.
"Those kind of things aren't just driving people crazy, they are driving teachers out of the classroom," Futernick said.
Barbara Kerr, president of the California Teachers Association, said the study echoed the union's concerns.
"We need to have more say at the local level. We have bureaucratic-ed ourselves to death," Kerr said. "Teachers are feeling like they're not able to use the knowledge they have."
Read the whole thing. And there's more here.
It seems like a lot of people running school districts around the country seem to have a scornful attitude toward the teachers who do the work that schools are there to do. When administrators denigrate and devalue teachers, student and parent attitudes will follow. Then administrators wonder why the discipline in the school has become so unmanageable.
Like it or not, the way our capitalist society demonstrates the value it places upon one's work is directly related to the salary one can earn doing that work. Our culture claims to care about children, and yet we pay the people who work with them, educate them, and care for them a fragment of what other professions may attain. And when more tasks are piled upon you with no compensation, that actually equals a pay cut-- further eroding the value of teaching.
I guess the situation won't resolve itself until they can't find any warm bodies to throw into the classrooms of America.
Labels: teaching profession