So Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook donated $100M to the Newark Public School system on the Oprah Winfrey Show. (BTW, is it just me or did it seem like Oprah brokered that deal since Newark Mayor Corey Booker is an admitted “close friend” of hers?? But I digress….) Will an influx of millions of dollars help to spur new recruits into the teaching profession? Maybe. But will they stay? Probably not.
Among the clients who come to me with the most radical career aspirations, the highest percentage of them are teachers. Most are teachers who have been in the field for at least five years and feel unfulfilled, empty, and fed-up.
With all of the focus on the “broken” US educational system in the news lately, it’s easy to understand why teachers may be looking to make career changes. They are underpaid, under appreciated, burned-out, and can’t help taking their work home with them everyday. On top of all of that, now more than ever, teacher performance is under such a microscope that even the best teachers can not help but to feel that the pressure. With all of the stressors and scandals – unreasonable administrators, grading corruption, under-resourced schools, overflowing classrooms, parental issues, and general lack of professional courtesy – it’s no wonder that teachers are running from the classroom.
Interestingly enough, many of them want to move into fields that still allow them to educate, influence, and inspire such as coaching or counseling. Many are shocked and pleasantly surprised by all of the options that allow them to marry their passion for teaching as well as leverage their core skills such as excellent organizational and communication skills. According to Dr. John Sullivan, a leader in the corporate recruiting world, teachers are “highly educated, highly competent, well organized, good at planning, great communicators, adaptable, dedicated, and eager for opportunities. They make ideal new recruits for the corporate world, and are ripe for the picking. “
What are your thoughts? Why are teachers exiting the profession? And where are they going?