A few years back, a friend of mine was griping about how easy teachers have it and how only the bad ones stay to teach. I was stunned. Could she possible be serious? Or maybe she just didn't have any teachers for friends. "They always cut out at the end of the day as fast as they can," she said. "They're probably heading to their second job," was my reply. Her solution was to gather with her other mom friends and pray that God would find an answer--He did, many years later in Katy Farber who decided to shine a big light on the issues and the solutions. Rather than wait for an answer on high, Katy researched the frustrations and offers them back in a concise summation of facts, failings and successes.
Her book, Why Great Teachers Quit and How We Might Stop the Exodus lists off the usual suspects:
- Standardized testing.
- Working conditions.
- Ever-higher expectations.
- Respect and Compensation.
- Parents, Administrators and School Boards.
She then offers resources and solutions culled from interviews with 70 teachers across the nation. Their stories echo the frustration this profession generates. The issues raised are not new, but by having them all in one book it allows each participating member to see things from the other's perspective. As the adage goes, "Awareness is the first step..."
Why Great Teachers Quit is an essential workbook and reminder of how pervasive the problems are and what simple steps could be taken to reverse the brain drain. Each school system has it within their ability to retain the top influencers on the next generation; Katy's book can turn the he said/she said battles into "We did it together" solutions.