I don’t make a habit of following trends; I never have done. Instead of Gary or Mark, my favourite member of Take That has always been Howard; he’s different, quirky, and also not the most popular choice. I’m difficult like that.
But this most recent trend was unavoidable.
I have now become a statistic. I have joined the 30% of teachers who leave the profession within the first 5 years. And I find that fact deeply saddening. Not just because I feel my decision was disappointingly mainstream, but because I am a good teacher who sincerely cares about making a difference in young people’s lives.
I have spent a grand total of 19 months working as a secondary school English teacher. In those 19 months I have met some wonderful people, both colleagues and students, who I feel blessed to have had in my life. From my experience, I can truly say that teachers care immensely for young people and want the next generation to succeed.
However, as the workload and pressure both increase, the job is becoming less and less rewarding. And, although I care about young people and I am a good teacher, I am not willing to sacrifice my whole life to the profession.
So, I have left…
…and I feel about as excited as Jimmy Carr.
Although I’m relieved to have left the stresses and anxieties of school life, I feel slightly guilty about my choice.
So, what’s your experience of education? Why do you think teachers feel this way? And, most importantly, what can be done about it?