“This is extremely alarming,” says LivingOrder®
Segura points to multiple studies that show the importance of teacher longevity. A study released by Harvard professors Raj Chetty and John Friedman found that students with high value-added (HVA) elementary school teachers earned higher incomes later in life. In an interview with Harvard staff writer Paul Massari, Friedman said, “There’s one predictor of value-added, which is teacher experience.”
According to the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF), “Teachers with more than five years in the classroom seem to be the most effective.” Yet, the National Center for Education Statistics reports that one-third of teachers leave the profession within the first three years, and half leave within the first five. Low pay and student behavior are among some of the reasons for leaving, but the number one reason given was lack of support.
“If the mass exodus of teachers consisted of only low quality teachers, we might be able to look the other way,” said Segura. “But the fact that we lose outstanding teachers each year is frightening and unacceptable. There is great concern about student drop-out rates. We need to be just as concerned about teacher drop-out rates.”
Segura, the author of "Less Stress for Teachers: More Time & An Organized Classroom," recommends that teachers be given the tools to conquer the overwhelming amount of responsibilities that are heaped upon them each day. In her book, she instructs teachers on how to reign in the five most critical elements of the school day, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle.
Bill Gates recently posted an opinion piece on the New York Times website in which he discussed measuring teacher effectiveness stating, “Teaching is multifaceted, complex work.” Training, parental involvement, student effort, and ongoing professional development are just a few of the many factors that affect the learning environment.
Statistics on teacher burnout and attrition have been floating around for decades, but a two-decade low in teacher job satisfaction and the fear of losing even more quality teachers should be a call to action, suggests Segura.
“There are some wonderful programs that are being put into place by different private organizations, but the effort needs to be widespread instead of just contained to a few experimental schools. The public needs to understand how critical the problem is,” said Segura. “It starts by helping just one teacher at a time at your local school. Ask, ‘How can I help you?’”
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