Why teachers are leaving the profession


It’s no secret that teachers are putting in their resignation letters left and right. Ever since Covid, these numbers have risen to an all time high. The question is why are they leaving? Teachers are a vital part of every community. We need teachers no matter what. They are a vital part of our society. Many think this is an easy task, but it is way more than just teaching 2+2=4 and the ABC’s. 

Teachers have to handle lesson plans, teacher workshops, always changing curriculum, parent-teacher conferences, IEP plans, 504 plans, behavioral issues, grades, and so much more. On top of that, they have families of their own they have to take care of. According to a June survey of members of the American Federation of Teachers union, almost 2 in 5 teachers plan to quit in the next two years. 

Many people think the salary would make up for what teachers have to go through. Wrong. According to Salary.com, a teacher in the state of Virginia makes between $38,150 to $79,042. Based on the 2022-2023 salary scale, teachers in Pittsylvania County make between $42,167-63,270.89. In most school districts, a teacher’s pay will go up by how many years of experience they acquire. Due to this, first year teachers will make on the lower end at the beginning of their career. The teachers who have been in the profession for years, as well as grade leads in some districts, will get paid more. Some teachers don’t even get near the top salary due to the fact they change fields or retire entirely. 

What does it all come down to? Two words: Teacher burnout. Teachers are so burnt out by all the tasks and jobs they carry on their backs. They have new protocols shoved down their throats by the U.S Department of Education and school boards constantly.

Covid-19 really initiated this teacher burnout from Zoom calls, packets of work, and almost no communication with students due to lack of internet in more rural areas. Bottom line is, teachers need to be both paid and appreciated more. They do so much for their students and get almost nothing in return. This is the only way we are going to stop this shortage.

I am pursuing this field despite all the negativity it has received lately. I love working with kids and being a teacher has always been my calling in life. This generation of students is going to become the next doctors, lawyers, nurses, mechanics, and teachers. Teachers are needed to lead them on the right path and help shape the next generation not just academically, but morally.