There is a teacher retention crisis. This situation is not one that is new, and it is not entirely due to the pandemic. In fact, in the two years before the pandemic, 55% of teachers were leaving after only two years in the profession because of stress and low pay. And at present, 92% of teachers surveyed by EdWeek say the stress has only become worse since the pandemic.
Why Teachers Are Leaving
The top reason that teachers are leaving the profession is stress. And teachers are more than twice as likely to leave as a result of stress than they are for low pay or any other reason. Other struggles at the top of the list include poor school management, lack of respect, lack of voice in the direction of education, and overwhelming duties. The stories of what teachers are enduring are heartbreaking and frustrating. TALIS 2018, a major international survey of more than 260,000 teachers and 15,000 school leaders, found that only about one-third of them feel appreciated.
What Teachers Need Now
Teachers are spending an average of 70-80 hours a week working – and less than half of that time is spent with the students. The biggest change that must happen to improve retention is to remove the burden of such an unbalanced workload. Reducing the workload and number of hours required to do their job is the first step. Increasing pay is the next. But teachers – the actual education experts to whom we entrust our children – should also have input on safety policies, and most certainly should have a voice in the direction of the curriculum and how resources are allocated.
TALIS 2018 identified many other ways to support teachers, including these policy goals:
- provide novice teachers and newly appointed school leaders with tailor-made support
- make the most of teachers’ time to support quality teaching and the use of effective teaching practices
- foster a school and classroom climate conducive to student learning and well-being
- develop a collaborative culture within schools
- foster mentoring and peer feedback as key attributes of professional work
- make the most of school leaders’ time to foster instructional leadership
- improve working conditions
How EdTech Can Improve Teacher Retention
EdTech can play a significant role in improving teacher retention. Not only can automated grading and testing reduce the workload with which teachers are burdened, but it can also make it easier for teachers to engage with students and spend one-on-one time with those in need. As well, teachers can enjoy the ability to personalize education to meet the students’ individual needs.
Lumen™ Touch Empowers Teachers
Bright LEARNING™ is a powerful resource that puts teachers back in control of achieving standards, by aligning student achievement and standards-based grading. This resource provides teachers with a “command center” from which they can map standards to curriculum, assess students, and evaluate progress easily and simply. With an integrated gradebook and lesson planner, teachers save time, aggravation, and stress while better meeting mandates – and having more class time to truly engage with students on a more personal level.
At Lumen Touch, we know that there are no simple answers to solving the big challenges that face educators. But there are systems you can implement that can make a difference. Bright LEARNING is one such system. To learn more, get in touch.