A shocking statistic in our profession as teachers; 40%-50% of new teachers leave the profession within the first 3-5 years. WHY is this happening? We are losing teachers because they do not have support or the support is inadequate. Teachers do not feel validated in the profession and new teachers do not have time to get things done. They are expected to accomplish what a veteran teacher does everyday in the same amount of time. There are other reasons but these are the three main reasons my fellow colleges of the class of 2014 National State Teachers of the Year discussed.
What we need to be doing in our schools and districts in order to keep the best and the brightest in our profession is have the resources available to these teachers. Mentors, teachers that help guide new teachers into the profession. Have someone who is not in the same curriculum guide them so they are being mentored on classroom management and best teaching practices verses being critiqued on curriculum. Coaches, someone who asks questions and be a resource so the teacher can evaluate themselves instead of being told what to do. We need to make sure our novice teachers an new teachers to a school or district feel like they have something to contribute. Especially 1st year teachers who are coming into the profession with new eyes, new rigorous ideas and amazing energy and passion. Give these teachers time to acclimate to the profession or new school. We are asking novice teachers to jump right into the profession and be able to handle the load of a veteran teacher. Give them a time to plan, research, watch other teachers teach with their mentor so they can collaborate on what is happening in the classroom being observed. I feel that our system is set up for failure instead of success and I know we do not set our schools up for our students this way so why would we do it to our teachers.