Fewer people are entering teacher training programs and lots of veterans say they have considered a new line of work — so why are some teachers committed to remaining in education and what would convince more to stay? Those are the questions NPR posed to experts and teachers themselves recently.
Richard Ingersoll, professor of education at the University of Pennsylvania, says one big reason teachers quit is they feel they have no say in decisions that will ultimately affect their teaching. In fact, Ingersoll says, this lack of classroom autonomy is now the biggest source of frustration for math teachers nationally.
“This would not cost money to fix. This is an issue of management,” says Ingersoll whose research focuses on teacher turnover and retention.
Educators’ responses varied, but shared a common focus on the children.
Pam Rhodes commented via Twitter, “There is no feeling quite as amazing as watching a kid work through a challenge, finally ‘get it’, and be proud of himself.”
Bradford Chase responded on Facebook, “I stay because I love the kids. When I close the classroom door, and it’s just the kids and me, I see in them so much potential. They need people who believe in them, people to help them become the best person they can be.”
Why do you stay in the teaching profession?