Reasons Why Some Elementary Teachers Don't Last In Teaching
This is the continuation of my topic about the reasons why elementary teachers leave the profession. I wrote this to caution the aspiring teachers so that they will know what to expect when they enter the teaching profession. There can be many reasons why an elementary teacher would quit teaching but I only wrote the top 5 reasons which I think are the major reasons why these teachers leave the profession. To the aspiring teachers, may I ask you to continue reading what you have started reading in first part of this hub. Here go the last 3 reasons:
The broken pencil: Why elementary teachers leave the profession
> Relationship with school head and co-teachers
Just like in any other profession, bickering among teachers is not impossible to happen. And they’re supposed to be the paragon of virtue! I have interacted with teachers from other schools and each one has had a disagreement/clash with a co-teacher to tell. Some may even be serious that this serves as an impetus for teachers to leave the profession.
Ditto with the school heads. There are times that you can’t get along well with your head no matter how hard you and he/she try. What is more irritating are the school heads who treat teachers like children. There are so many stories about a superior maltreating the teacher by shouting or berating him/her in front of other people. Or there are also some who wouldn't admit if they committed a mistake and instead put the blame on the teacher. Others can be so high-handed with their subordinates that one tend to ask himself if this school head thinks of himself/herself as the most powerful person on earth. Some blatantly play favorites. Sorry to disappoint you, aspiring teachers, but this is a reality particularly in the public school system. My colleagues in our school and from other schools are the living proofs. However you have the option to just transfer to other schools. Leaving the profession may be the last resort.
>The school environment itself particularly the students
It really is hard to discipline the undisciplined. A student’s inherent bad behavior which began at home and continued at school proves to be an uphill battle for the teacher to change. She has to deal with 30, 40 or 50 unique individuals with different personality everyday of her teaching life. Some can be extreme cases. One of my co-teachers experienced being bitten on her finger and thrown shoes at by one of her students.
Another thing, there are no air conditioning systems in most public schools. There are only a handful of electric fans. With the global warming at its worst, coping with classroom ventilation is a challenge. Also, the heat becomes more unbearable, since there are many students cramping in a room. Teachers from western countries are more fortunate in this regard. Or maybe I am wrong?
> Parents and the media
Some parents can be nasty and seldom appreciate the efforts of teachers in teaching and disciplining their children. Although many parents are appreciative, some can be a pain in the neck. I have experienced and seen some my co-teachers being questioned by parents regarding the way their children are treated when these children do wrong. It is hard to get across them that we teachers will not discipline a child unless they are at fault. What we want is to improve their behavior so they will not be a liability to society when they grow up. Besides, not many people know that we usually develop a motherly bond with our students since they are with us most of our waking hours.
One more thing, teachers are not really held in esteem compared with other professions. So it is not surprising the harsh treatment of media when it comes to reporting teacher-perceived injustice to a student. I have watched television footage showing a reporter/host of a program who blatantly blocked the explanation of an accused teacher. It is quite disheartening because they don’t know what the teachers have to go through every day of their teaching life. I wish they can experience being a teacher so they can understand why some teachers tend to give in to their emotion. This kind of treatment motivates the teachers more to leave profession.
Now, it is up to you to decide whether to continue your aspiration of becoming a teacher. I hope, aspiring teachers, that these will not prevent you from pursuing your dream. Remember, I wrote this to serve as an eye-opener for you and to prepare you. Teaching maybe one of the most difficult jobs but you can never equal the feeling of satisfaction when you know that you make a difference to the lives of young kids. You are also the most influential persons in their lives, second only to their parents. You’ll feel the exhilaration when a child comes to you knowing nothing and then comes out of your room knowing something because of YOU.