Many of you may have read the viral Facebook post from a Texas teacher a few weeks ago describing her frustration with the teaching profession and her decision to leave teaching at the end of the school year.
She wrote about parents and children being disrespectful, her lack of classroom resources, and administrators not supporting her. It was clear from her post that she’s unhappy in her job, or disengaged.
“I have never heard of a profession where people put so much of their heart and soul into their job, taking time and resources from their home and family, and getting paid such an insultingly measly amount. Teachers are some of the most kind and giving people I have ever met, yet they get treated so disrespectfully from all sides,” she wrote.
These aren’t unusual complaints from teachers across the country, and they align with research as some of the top reasons teachers quit:
- Lack of administrator support
- Challenging working conditions
- Low pay
- Accountability pressures
Districts can’t change how parents within its boundaries choose to raise their kids, and districts can’t avoid state and federal accountability requirements that impact teachers. But, a district can address some of the other issues this teacher raised, such as working conditions, administrator support, and pay.
One teacher’s complaints don’t necessarily reflect the perception of a whole campus or district, so finding out how your teachers across the district feel is critical to measuring their overall engagement. Conducting a regular district-wide climate or employee engagement survey is a good way to do that and can help you key in on areas where employees might be less-than-satisfied. There are many third-party survey providers out there, including HR Services, and many districts conduct these surveys themselves.
The takeaway here is to find out what your teachers think and work to address engagement issues before they turn into a viral Facebook post.