Calling it Quits: Teachers are Leaving and They’re Not Coming Back

More on the growing teacher shortage crisis

Andy Spears

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The Wall Street Journal reports that the current teacher shortage is occurring at the same time private sector businesses are eager to hire new employees. That is, teachers are done with teaching and there are plenty of opportunities for them to land new jobs.

The rate of people quitting jobs in educational services rose more than in any other industry in 2021, according to federal data. Many of those are teachers exhausted from toggling between online and classroom teaching instruction, shifting Covid-19 protocols and dealing with challenging students, parents and administrators.

Quits in the educational services sector rose 148% in that time frame, while quits in states and local education rose 40%, according to federal data. By comparison, quits in retail trade rose 27% in the same time frame. According to LinkedIn, the share of teachers on the site who left for a new career increased by 62% last year.

In states like Tennessee, it’s no mystery why teachers are leaving. The pay is not great and the demands are ever-increasing.

Of course, Tennessee has the resources to invest heavily in public education — IF policymakers want to.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the days following Gov. Bill Lee’s State of the State. Will there be new investment in public schools? Will the state take action to stem the tide of Tennessee teachers leaving the field?

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

Originally published at http://tnedreport.com on February 1, 2022.

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Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .