How is our profession doing? I say ‘our’ knowing full well that I’ve been out of the classroom now for 2 and half years. (That realisation dawned on me only yesterday, in conversation.)
I talked recently with a Principal who reflected that she and other Principals she connects with have noticed a gap appearing in our ranks. It would seem that we have a growing number of brand new teachers, and a stoic group of experienced, older teachers but there seems to be a trend for those teachers in between these groups who are looking for opportunities outside of schools, and outside of the classroom.
Is this actually happening country-wide (I live in NZ) and if it is, why do you think it’s happening? I know that I often read and hear directly from teachers about the challenges they face now; parent dissatisfaction, assessment schedules, workload, student behaviour…the list goes on.
I’m also equally talking with Principals (in some cases, in the same conversation) about how exciting our sector is at the moment. Teachers are discovering new ways to engage their students, to create with and inspire their students that it makes you want to jump out of bed each morning and run to class.
Maybe the answer to coping with the stress and challenge is to embrace the new and exciting. Easy for me to say. And possibly easy for me to share.
What this does make so crucial is the need to connect with others who are excited, creative, engaged – other teachers who are embracing the change and inspiring each other.