This report does not square with what I see in the public schools my children
have attended. The teacher pool is very stable. A teacher confided that she was
very happy to be teaching in the public high school where she could get tenured
pretty quickly and not have to worry about finding a new job ever. Yes, teaching
is hard and yes is low paid but there are other advantages over private sector
positions such as job stability, flexibility and job satisfaction if you know
where to find it. Why else are there so many applicants for each open position?
It is obvious why teachers are leaving the profession. There is a severe
problem in education. Teachers go to school on an average of 6-8 years. They
are paid the lowest in the nation. At one time the benefit package was really
good. They had good insurance and a good retirement package. The state
legislature has given moderate benefits over that last few years, but the money
has not ended up in teachers pockets. School Districts have claimed insurance
costs have taken all the money but at the same time, administrators have
received raises at alarming levels. The size of district offices have become so
large that people think public ed is wasting tons of money which is true.
Instead of teachers retiring at 30 years and new lower paying teachers taking
their place, the teachers who are stuck are teaching 33-38 years at high
salaries.Not very much common sense going on. School boards need to use
some common sense when allowing administrators to negotiate separately from
teachers. If they were negotiating for the same things, common sense would be
continued..."If teachers are demanding better pay and respect
maybe they need re-evaluate themselves first. Real teaching is not
'babysitting', and if that's how it feels to them, then they
shouldn't be teaching."Like I said, most teachers are not
jerks, although some may be. You seem to understand very little just how much
crap teachers, particularly middle school teachers, put up with from students on
a daily basis. As far as "real teaching" goes, teachers sometimes
don't get around to it because sometimes students act in a way that
prevents real teaching from happening. When this bad behavior and complete lack
of respect is so prevalent that real teaching is hard to accomplish (which
unfortunately does happen in some areas of the state), teaching ends up pretty
much being babysitting, and so those teachers quit.I've been
teaching middle school for several years now, and I plan to take a break if not
quit for good this year. I'm not the only one at my school doing this
either. A 21-year veteran nearly quit last year as well. Some kids are well
behaved, but many are not, and the number and severity is growing. That's a
major reason for this shortage.
@Christmas"I recently completed a quality survey for my
child's middle school and I gave most teachers and administrators the
lowest level of approval possible."Thanks for proving
everyone's point."People complain that students are
"brats", but my experience has been the opposite. It's the teachers
and administrators that are the brats, more so than the students."Just out of curiosity, is this from your own observation or is this hearsay
from a middle school student?"My child's math teachers said
it was 'not her job' to show her how to do math problems, while she
sat there eating chips. Why is she there? . . . Another teacher was smug,
sarcastic and rude after my child approached him after class to sign a paper, he
dusted her off and couldn't be bothered."My guess is
there's probably more to the story than that, but I do know that some
teachers can be rude. Unfortunately the way the system works often terrible
teachers keep on teaching for years while good ones move on to other jobs.continued...
First off, my wife has taught in Utah for almost ten years. Watching how public
schools work has been enlightening and an interesting contrast to my job here in
the real world. I think we can all acknowledge the traditional model
of education has failed. We see this in business all the time. Efficiency drops
as costs rise, management chasing results by throwing money at every problem.
Morale drops thru the floor and customers flee. Innovation dries up, processes
ossify and the entire organization becomes moribund. If this was a business
I'd be looking for it to declare bankruptcy soon. But it's a
gov't org, so instead they'll hide their failure behind
ever-increasing tax demands. And it's not a teacher problem,
it's a systemic problem. The whole thing needs an overhaul. And not just
one of their perennial rearrangement of the deck chairs. These expensive and
ineffectual changes just confuse their customers and staff. And PS:
I didn't see any data about the under 30's teachers having babies as a
reason they leave the profession. We like to do that here in Utah.
@ ChristmasWhy is your daughter eating chips during class when she
should be doing her math problems? I don't blame the teacher for being
upset. Teach your daughter to show some respect. Eat food during lunch not
The toughest thing about being a teacher is...everything. If you don't
absolutely love what you are doing and why and those for whom you are doing it,
you won't stay. I am wondering if the funds generated by the small fraction
of a percent increase in taxes will go to teacher pay. I wonder if the increase
in WPU will go to teacher pay. Oh, and just a thought, when will the
teacher's union realize that not all teachers should be paid the same. If
science and special ed are the highest in demand, then maybe their salaries
should reflect that. Just saying. I know it's harsh to say one teacher is
worth more than another, but don't we pay members of other professions more
or less determined in part by their value in the marketplace? One more thing,
why should all teachers get paid the same when not all administrators do?
Principals make more if they are at a high school than a middle school, and they
are paid more than at elementary schools. Same for assistants. Just a thought.
I have been a teacher in Utah for 15 years and, for the first time, I am
considering a career change. I intended to retire here, but things have changed
so much that I feel like a teaching career is no longer a positive place to be.
Many of my colleagues feel the same.I think there are two major
frustrations that are causing teachers, like myself, to consider changing
careers. First, I think teaching has become a more negative, and, in the hope
of raising performance and saving money, many people are trying to micro-manage
teachers.In schools, the blame game in school is very rampant. Most
teacher, like myself, won't ask for help with behavior, because the
assumption is that if you have behavior problems you must be doing something
wrong. Another problem is micromanagement of teachers. This goes from
counting materials to almost telling teachers what to say and when to say it.
We are often told, "Do you realize you have printed 3,345 copies this
year," or, "According to the master schedule you should have been
teaching math at 2:00 instead of writing." If we want to attract and retain
teachers we need to treat them as professionals and remove obstacles in their
IceCreamGhost:Great post. However, 36 would be on the
small size for me though it is high and for elementary teachers an obscene
total, so if you taught in elementary, that is truly awful and you have my
sympathies. In my career I've had close to 240 students in six classes on
a number of occasions as a total class load and when my prep was bought over 280
students. Typically I expect to have well over 200 students or on the average
38-40 per class. I have to say that large classes are not
necessarily new for my in my teaching career. When I taught at a Salt Lake
District high school I even had two classes over 50 and this was in the early
1990's. So this phenomenon isn't exactly new nor unique to any school
district. But I think the amount of paperwork and micromanaging is much worse
now and so teaching 240 now vs. back then is worse because there's just a
lot more demands on teachers other than just teaching your students.
I recently completed a quality survey for my child's middle school and I
gave most teachers and administrators the lowest level of approval possible.
People complain that students are "brats", but my
experience has been the opposite. It's the teachers and administrators that
are the brats, more so than the students. I've had several
recent concerns (trying to locate a library book and attempting to get a
vacation slip for my child due to surgery) and was treated rudely, the office
administrators were dismissive, and couldn't be bothered while they sat
there staring at their computer acting like they didn't want to be there.
My child's math teachers said it was" not her job" to
show her how to do math problems, while she sat there eating chips. Why is
she there? Another teacher was smug, sarcastic and rude after
my child approached him after class to sign a paper, he dusted her off and
couldn't be bothered. If teachers are demanding better pay and
respect maybe they need re-evaluate themselves first. Real teaching is not
"babysitting", and if that's how it feels to them, then they
shouldn't be teaching.
My friend left after the first year when he realized what brats kids are these
@Iammad from Roosevelt, the ability to shift your years to other districts is a
great idea. I remember starting out as a teacher and thinking that I
should really think hard about my first job because if I wanted to change
districts later it could really screw up my salary. I was a teacher
and here are my reasons for leaving:1. Pay - i could make more with less
effort elsewhere2. Feeling unvalued by society - There was an article
once that talked about how teachers were coming out of "the bottom of the
barrel" in University and as a top student that really was offensive.3. Class Sizes - feeling like I had to achieve more with more kids in the
classroom (my record was 36, which is an insane number of kids)Talk
to any teacher, they will tell you. They do an important work for society and
are treated like garbage.
One of our friend's daughters works for DCFS and sounds like from listening
to her they can't hang on to workers. Another friend's daughter
teaches school and is going back to school to work in another profession over
the pay and politics.
I make more money driving a UTA bus than I would do teaching and I have
excellent benefits. Doing away with the state pension plan was a disaster that
I blame directly on Dan Liljenquist. It isn't just teachers that are
effected. I graduated from Weber State in criminal justice/law enforcement in
the early eighties. Over a thousand people showed up at SLCC to test for forty
open positions with SL County. Today law enforcement is having a hard time
finding qualified applicants. The real solution is one that we as a state
don't to want address. The problem is the state income tax system that
provides tax exemptions for children. This shifts the tax burden to single
adults, childless couples and retirees. I am not against large families. I am
for a cap on dependents. You should be allowed two with exceptions for adopted
and special needs children. I am not saying this would solve all the funding
problems. It certainly would help.
The salary schedule and changing districts is a legitimate issue. If teachers
could stay on the same pay scale if they changed districts, it would create a
better environment for our teachers and ultimately our schools and students.
They would actually have to better themselves to keep teachers. It would make
districts compete a bit. Husker1: I have to wonder if students
(and their parents) would be angry if they invested time to do packets and make
up classes in some vain only to have others have their failing grades cleared
because they meet the magic percentage of 60%. I know if my child say did fail
and class and did the work to actually earn the credit and another student never
took that initiative and all of sudden just passes the class retroactively, I
would be upset. Is there a fairness issue I'm missing? Were teachers
involved with this decision or was it just thrown on them by the school board
and district administration? Back in the old days, I believe most teachers
could make their own grading scales based on their professional judgment. But
did some posters say something about micro-managing?
As a teacher, I can also add some insight to this.The pay is part of
it, but in my opinion not the biggest reason. After all, it's not exactly a
secret that teachers don't have a very high salary. Teachers go into
teaching knowing they're not going to be breaking $50k anytime soon.Why do they leave teaching after starting down that path, then? Simple:
it is because there are so many obstacles in the way that prevent them from
actually teaching. Non-instructional stuff takes up a lot of the time. The heavy
emphasis on math limits exposure in other subjects, and in some cases leads to
full-time positions becoming part-time positions (many schools are going to
10-class schedules, and so where before 6 classes was enough for full-time, you
now need 8, so a school going to that schedule may find it easier to consolidate
the 6 down to 4 and make the position half-time than to increase to 8 to remain
full-time). There are also the certifications, evaluations, licensing, and all
that to worry about.In addition to all that, behavior is abhorrent,
particularly in middle school. That's perhaps the biggest obstacle.
The only people who should be commenting on why teachers in Utah leave the
profession should be people who have been teachers in Utah. If you have not
been, you are merely speculating and really have no idea of the issues involved.
Let's see:- Bratty kids, a lot of them (being Utah and all)- Inability to dole out any discipline-Even worse Parents- Low
Pay- A Legislature and Governor that treats them like crapAnd
spare me the '3 months off every year' argument. They deserve it after
dealing with all the brats! All this from only reading the 'Title',
I'm going to back and read the article now.
As a teacher in the state of Utah for the last 34 years I think I have some
insight into this situation. When I started many women taught a few years and
left to raise a family. Today, not so much. In my school this year three women
went out on maternity leave all three came back. It happens but most young
people today can't survive on one income. To say that it is
all about salary is not correct either. Salary is a big part of it, as are
declining benefits. So are growing class sizes. In 1984 I had about 18-20
reasonable well behaved students per class. Today I have 35+ much less well
behaved students. When I started teaching I was evaluated regularly, today I am
micromanaged. When I started teaching I could come in at 7:00 AM and go home at
5:00-5:30 and be done. Today I am never done. When I first started good paying
summer jobs were plentiful, today, not so much. 30 years ago I checked out at
the end of May, I came back at the beginning of August. Now I spend 2-3 weeks
uncompensated time in the summer at conferences or meeting with department. Ranking them depends on the individual but for most of the teacher
leaving those all factor in.
They don't speak Spanish.
Here's the answer to why so many teachers in Utah do not last more than 5
years. This research study was done on teachers in the Jordan School district.
It is published in the AJER.Google search: "Phenomenological
Insight on Being Hindered From Fulfilling One’s Primary Responsibility to
@ Mick 00-"Btw, this article is not about you or your theories
of climate change."I have not mentioned the words "climate
change" anywhere on this thread. That's the problem. An
innocuous class about studying the climate and you automatically think it's
about climate change. We did a lot of fun things in that class. No one was
damaged from it.
@patriot"73% quit? Holy cow this is a disaster. If this happened in
engineering the tech industry with go bust....so would the medical field.
""Public education is collapsing and that is why Trump appointed
the person he did to re-think the direction of eduction altogether."This stat is for Utah... which is a GOP run state with GOP local
government across most of the state, and GOP slanted school boards, while
education is largely managed at the local and state levels rather than the
federal level... but sure, let's blame the Dems.
To "Bob K" go to the KSL web site, and read the comments there. The
list of reasons why teachers leave is accurate according to the teachers that
have responded there.Pay is NOT one of the primary factors driving
teachers out of the classroom.Utah is not unique in having teachers
quit to have children. What is unique is the number of teachers that quit to
raise their own children.
Being a recently retired educator of 37 years, I can say that it is a tragedy
that so many leave the field after a few years. It takes years to develop a
truly outstanding teacher. I have seen other studies that say lack of support is
a primary reason for teachers leaving. Unfortunately things haven't changed
greatly since I started where I was given the keys to my class and was told
"good luck, you'll need it". New teachers are overwhelmed by large
classroom size, testing mandates, full inclusion, classroom management, irate
parents etc. Programs to support new teachers are started, and then are the
first item on the budgetary chopping block.
@Open MindedI see the problem. Well, a couple actually.Who
takes 8 years for a Master's?Answer: Professional students.Why is Utah looking for first year teachers with a Master's in the first
place?Answer: They aren't.This hype on steroids
isn't helpful. We don't need your Patty Murray math here.
Fair salaries for the work perform has never been the problem for high turnover.
Get the Federal Government out of our lives and retention would be better among
the Good Teachers. Did a study in another state a few years back of a lowest
paid and highest paid districts and not a single teacher said anything about
pay. It came from spouse transfers, getting back to their home
states,disciplinary problems, the younger teachers entering the field deciding
it was not what they wanted, leaving the olderteachers behind dreaming about the
benefit of paid retirement.Spanish Fork
I'm going to quote a comment that I think is typical of the Utah ostrich
syndrome:I call it that because nothing about Utah is ever not the best
store ever wrong or ever needs improving to these folks.You can list pay
as the last reason because it's something that the teacher knew in advance
and hoped would work out where is the other stuff no matter how bad you hear
about it beforehand is worse.Another ostrich says it's because of
Utah's unique culture where women quit working to have children.Note that the other items on the list are things that you could forgive if you
got paid well"All right, if you want to see why teachers are
leaving, here are the top reasons:1. They leave because they have a
baby and want to care for it.2. The kids they teach are horrible3.
The Parents of the kids are horrible4. Government regulations.5.
Mandated testing6. It is impossible to get a high performance
Only goes to show that Utah really is an Anti-Education, Anti-Environment,
Anti-Science - State.
Let's see....8 years of college, A Master's Degree,
$60K in debt, and the state of Utah pays them $16.75 an
hour.Article Circle starts @ $12 an hour.no degree, no
college, no debt.Face it -- The Utah State legislature
values a Rodeo burger and Fries more than our children's education.
@Go2Great post!! Don't forget the HUGE emphasis on graduation
rates. That means everything at the high school level. It's so important
that one district just announced they are retroactively changing their grading
standard, thus giving thousands of students credit for classes they failed so
they can hand out more diplomas.Keep an eye on Provo School
District, folks. Their graduation rate is about to take an enormous jump
because they have turned into a diploma mill.
As long as...Stack um deep and teach um cheap...Is the
re-Publican operational definition of what the teachers are faced with each
year...Look for the turnover rate to remain high.
All right, if you want to see why teachers are leaving, here are the top
reasons:1. They leave because they have a baby and want to care for
it.2. The kids they teach are horrible3. The Parents of the kids
are horrible4. Government regulations.5. Mandated testing6.
It is impossible to get a high performance evaluation.7. Pay.You see, pay isn't the top reason to quit. Much of the reason why
teachers quit has more to do with the system and the parents than the actual
pay.How many teacher quit that work in Private schools? Think about
it, because private schools typically pay less than public schools and have
fewer benefits.To "Utah Girl Chronicles" you could still
teach class in "Climate Studies", if you kept it non-biased and
didn't just repeat the propaganda in the IPCC. If you used actual
scientific studies and showed that nobody really understands climate change, it
would be totally accepted. However, if you taught the class from the standpoint
of CO2 is the problem with everything in the climate, you will be shut down.
You see, we don't want our kids taught propaganda, we want them taught
What would be good for comparison is how many in other fields of study (who have
graduated) transition to new positions or careers during the same time period.
The headline makes this sound like an epidemic but data doesn't prove
that.Conduct a study for 8 years for all graduates - in all fields.
Follow all of them and their career transitions, marriage/famly interruptions,
and show that there is not the same percentage of change. I think you will find
that many who graduate find that their field of study didn't meet their
expectations. Many doctors, lawyers, police officers, communications, english,
physical education, engineers move from job to job and many move out of state
for their spouse/partners education or career choices.This data is
in a vacuum so it has little value.
The reasons are clear and multi-faceted.As has been stated, we have
a unique culture in Utah where many young mothers stay at home once they start
having children. While this happens in all states, the percentage is going to be
higher here in Utah.Low pay with overloaded classrooms. The amount
of work required vs the pay is way off here in Utah. Each teacher has way too
many students. Young teachers most likely come into the classroom thinking they
can handle it. But when they find out they have to work at home for hours after
teaching all day, they determine they aren't paid enough to the amount of
work required. They must also participate in continuing education and workshops
during the summer.Many teachers here graduate without a
Master's Degree. I don't know if all school districts require
Master's to get into the higher pay tiers, but I know many teachers decide
if they aren't going to get a raise without going back to school, they
simply decide to move on. A Master's Degree does not guarantee teacher
success. The rule capping the pay for teachers without a Master's Degree is
causing experienced teachers to leave.The list continues, but I
don't have room.
After seeing my spouse leave the teaching profession here in Utah I think I have
a pretty good idea.The problem was not the kids or the parents.The problem was low pay, too many students per class with little to no
help. Every year spending $300-$500 on supplies. No support from
administrators only criticism. No retirement.Charter schools -
tried that too. Lower pay, higher expectations, less support, and little to no
benefits. My spouse left the profession and started making real money, really
quickly. Utah lags behind in education. Keep in touch with friends that
leave the state and they will tell you.
I don't think anyone who has posted so far is actually one of the thousands
who have left. So we're all guessing. I hope the survey brings
some insight. But having a wife who did her student teaching in
language arts and then said to heck with that (50-60 hour weeks and $27k pay)
and selected a technical writing job for more than twice the amount, my guesses
are:1. Pay2. Set up for failure (see the McKinsey report
"How the world's best-performing school systems come out on top) 3. New mom's wanting to be in the home
Utah girl?Do not assume I don't understand or believe in
climate change. Al Gore's theories did not come to pass. Not even close.
Did you see the movie? Did you teach the movie? Btw, this article
is not about you or your theories of climate change.
After a 15 year hiatus I decided to return to teaching, a profession I love and
worked successfully in for 18 years. What I now see in Utah education is a job
void of joyous, 'teachable' moments. Now there are district
mandates on teaching materials used; a HUGE focus on test scores instead of
learning; district regimens of how you teach - right down to the very verbiage
you must use! ; trying to teach/help children who don't speak English, have
autism, learning disabilities, behavioral issues along with the other 28
students in the classroom with very little support; disengaged parents;
children with no boundaries; increasing demands from districts on worthless
inservice classes; outdated technology and/or tech but no support . . . all this and still working as our own 'secretaries' and
'custodians' . With taxes/SS/insurance fees I'd
bring home $18 an hour. Is it any wonder we leave?
If I were grading these studies I would give them a D+ and tell them to do them
over. They are a nice first draft, but fail to answer the questions.And these are from educators? They should be ashamed of themselves. All this
hand-wringing about teacher pay, class size, assignments...and we get this?Let's get some definitive answers about where they went. Did they
leave to go raise a family? I would think that once hubby graduated and landed a
job, she would want to stay at home and have children.Or did they
decide that teaching science wasn't worth the degree they earned so they
are now working for a drug company at three times the pay?Or maybe
the health insurance was inadequate for their family situation and they left
teaching.Maybe they just don't have the disposition to handle
the daily dose of brats today. Not everyone is cut out to teach Primary, let
alone do it five days a week.These studies are a road map of
questions, but not answers.
One incentive should be discussed seriously by school districts and the boards
that serve them. Paying transfer teachers their salary according to the years of
experience. Education is the only profession I know that does not do this. I am
in my 23rd year of teaching, and if I accepted a new position in another school
district I would also have to accept a 15 to 20 thousand dollar pay cut in my
yearly salary. School districts should be competing for the best teachers,
and the best way to attract them is to pay them the salary they are worth. But
alas, it is more cost effective to hire right out of college, yet more than half
are leaving the teaching profession. Too bad.If I had understood this in
college or as a new teacher, I would never have entered the profession.
(Taking a page out of the playbook for dealing with climate change)It may very well be that Utah has a problem with teacher turnover. But
it's very premature to assign any specific reason for the problem. The best course of action is patience, and further study. Any action taken before we know with complete certainty why - or really *if* -
a problem exists would be a rash and potentially reckless decision that would
adversely impact Utah tax payers.However, if anyone suggests the
solution is to transfer state funds to private schools or charter school
management corporations, this idea deserves a special session of the Legislature
and fast-track approval.
"everything Democrats do is a disaster. "Except that
we're in Utah, and last time I checked, our legislature was almost
completely stacked with Republicans.========I'm so
glad I retired before the avalanche of testing buried us.I'm glad I
retired before kids came to school loaded with all kinds of electronic
distractions. I'm glad I retired after having taught only in rural
schools where kids are completely different critters than city kids. I'm glad I retired before Dan Lilenquist and his buddies robbed teacher
of retirement.I watch what is happening now and wonder how anyone
has the courage to become a teacher.
It's not just money paid to teachers, it is also about job satisfation in
being able to "teach kids." Policies that demand special needs
kids be int eh same classroom with advanced students do not help either end of
the spectrum, so "teaching to the middle" in such situations only
exacerbates the discipline problems as the bored or flailing students get left
out. Get back to "tracks" where students are grouped by ability.Demand discipline and support teachers who enforce it, despite a few
parents who blindly insist their little angels do no wrong.Support
home schooling and charter schools as options for actually providing education
instead of "seat time."Praise those teachers who leave after
a few years to raise their own families, a large part of the turnover which is
unsurprising in Utah even if more common here than other states.Money alone is not the answer, and focus must be on classroom teacher support,
not the bloated administrative bureaucracies or union demands.
@ Mick -00"Did you have to stop teaching because all of Al Gores
"facts" didn't actually come to pass?"There are
people who believe the earth is flat.There are people who believe
dinosaurs roamed around in the 1800's.There are people who
believe the Revolutionary War started because the British had a blockade around
the Boston airport.Thank you for proving my point.
The law of unintended or perhaps intended consequences, low pay, constant
criticism from the legislative body, the doing away in 2008 of the defined
benefit retirement plan. Teachers are in much the same boat as law enforcement
officers. In that they have a most difficult job and those who set the salaries
seem to view them as whining leeches. Every year the legislature an the governor
say education is our number one priority, the reality shown by their actions are
quite the opposite.
As a teacher here are my 2 cents. (that may be all I can afford)When I graduated for college I never even looked at teaching in Utah. The pay
was too low and the classes were too big. I looked exclusively in Wyoming where
pay was better. Utah has the advantage of lots of people, mostly young and out
recently out of college, who are willing to stay in Utah and will soon drop out
of the profession because they realize they can do almost anything for better
pay and benefits.Some have said that throwing money at the problem
doesn't help but in Wyoming they have done just that. Over the last 8
years the funding for education in the state has increased dramatically and
there has been a huge benefit. In NAEP testing, which is a national test also
taken by Utah, Wyoming outscored every state except two. This is done in a
state which is rural and in very small districts where it is harder to retain
teachers who would rather live in a city. Utah you will get what
you pay. Right now Wyoming is going through a huge budget crunch because of
natural resources. While there has been cuts, they have decided to still pay
teachers because they know it is worth it.
I was called to substitute teach 8th graders for one day after not doing so for
many years. The kids were rude, noisy, and were trying to impress each other.
I have another friend who is a full time teacher and she told me that if I had
become aggressive in my attitude toward them to get control, I would have had
mothers complaining to the administration. Parents have a whole lot to do with
the problems due their support of their "angel" Billy or Mary and
disregard for the teacher. Just look at the ideas some teachers come up with to
increase the knowledge of their students and one parent complaining will destroy
the opportunity for all of the other students.
@Shaun,By all means, all proposed tax increases should be reported
in terms of actual percent increase. That isn't or shouldn't be
partisan.Those who focus on party are revealing their own callowness
and small minded thinking. Such thinking prevents intelligent, productive
I'll tell you why I quit the education profession, and it wasn't the
salary as a teacher with 39 years of experience and many extra coursesI was at
the top of the salary scale and earning a $10,000 a year bonus as a national
certified teacher working in a special needs school. I was no longer making a
difference in student's lives. We switched to a block schedule which made
it impossible to cover the topics expected (I took extensive training in methods
to make the block schedule work). The extensive testing made it difficult to
actually teach. I worked extensively with low performing students and was
continually frustrated with criticism over students inability to reach
unrealistic goals a and not recognizing the improvement made over time. I
worked in a rural school with great parental support, but when you no longer
feel you are doing the best you can it's time to change. One of
the best teachers I know left industry to teach so he could make as difference
after 2 years he got frustrated and worked in a private school for 2 more years
before returning to an engineering career. Those with the high motives to teach
become frustrated and it takes a special person to ..
As a 39 year veteran educator, I can attest to the fact that I have
significantly less time to TEACH my students due to excessive testing and
tracking requirements imposed by those who view our endeavors from a business
quality control perspective. Add to that the stress and preparation for
personnel evaluations that demean and strike fear in those just entering the
profession. I, like the majority of those who join the teaching profession,
entered to make a difference for young people. Want to know why folks are
leaving? Look at the efficacy research already available. When your feel you
can't make that difference, you leave! Or, if you feel the difference you
make is seriously under-valued, you leave. Let us teach! Give us the support we
need, then get out of our way.
Increased work load, reports, more paper work, mandatory testing (SAGE) tied to
their performance and not the demographics of the classroom, and higher demands
from administration and parents, all contribute to this while receiving the same
pay. Let teachers teach! That's why they got into the profession in the
first place. I know. I hear it every day!
Utah girl-When you teach public school you cannot teach whatever you
want. And that doesn't mean you are spineless and small minded if you
don't want your kids indoctrinated with someone's opinion. Pretty
harsh opinionated words.Did you have to stop teaching because all of
Al Gores "facts" didn't actually come to pass?
A few years ago in alpine school district the " association " negotiated
for the benefits of the older teachers instead of helping increase the salaries
of the newer teachers. My sister was one of them. In fact she actually went
without insurance as part of this negotiation for about six months to pay for
the older teachers benefits.Maybe the union, run by the older
teachers, should do something about it. And keep in mind, there isn't an
endless supply of money.
I've been a teacher for 25 years....Many comments given are
correct, but let's not forget parents. They are also a major reason for
the turnover.Parents are very difficult to deal with. If parents
only knew what their children are really like, they'd be much more
supportive of teachers.I've had parents who've admit they
can't get their child to take out the trash or mow the yard. Those same
parents then blame the teacher for their students lack of academic performance.
Too often parents miss that basic correlation. And this is but one
example of 'parents'.
Teachers always want more money. Throwing Money at the problem, wont fix the
problem, as we found out with raising taxes on fixing the roads in Utah, or
Crime.The Government is out of touch with the People. There is no
diversity in Utah Schools, They do not hire non whites, non mormons, that goes
with teachers, police, school districts. No integrity, no diversity, no
equality, no performance.The People and or Parents no longer trust schools
they do not teach, they teach to pass kids and those they do not like they
harass and blame the kids and the parent, or kick out the kids and try to harass
the parents in order to cover up their lack of responsibility.Performance
is horrific in Utah. But they need a raise. The school districts are top
heavy with people who believe their jobs are not expendable and are a retirement
place to cover up any lack of accountability with soundbites and a pattern of
blaming students and parents, not to mention promoting those teachers who play
Sounds like a five alarm fire to me!Seems shocking as it wasn't
much discussion of teacher salaries in the article. But then again I always read
that Utah Prides itself on its Workforce that's ready to work for low
wages. I also read over and over again the accusation that Republicans prefer
mediocre education in order to encourage low-wage worker availability.I
know that Utah likes to Pride itself on education but I don't see how
education could be good with this kind of teacher turnover
Well if you worked a highly politicized job with low pay, wouldn't you
leave? I taught for three years and loved my job. Loved the kids,
and my subject. But after three years I was done. If you have 36 kids in a
classroom, 2 with severe disabilities, 5 who can barely speak English and a
whole lot of personalities in between - it's going to be a rough time.
Compound that with feeling like people dont respect what you are doing and the
ongoing political fight for funding and it's very disheartening.There need to be firm caps on the teacher/student ratio. More support for
english language learners and special education. Teachers need to be paid as
well as other college graduates with a similar background. Otherwise Utah will
never be able to stanch the leaving and will be picking up the pieces for
Too many look at teaching as a part-time job until they get something better and
the ones I spoke with just out of college said they "just have to have their
summers off" so they can still party. Maybe the universities that crank out
education degrees should try a bit harder to make teaching a profession....and
lobby for education reform, year-round work, and then teachers would deserve a
33% increase and not as many new buildings would be required. There are a lot
of professions that have large turnover. How'd you like to graduate from
medical school only to not be able to find a residency? For some reason,
educators always get the sympathy nod from every one as if they were the only
ones that have any stress in their lives.
Notice that the last sentence of this story, all will be solved if we just raise
the income taxes to pay our teachers more. Plesase stop the madness, stop
raising taxes, it will not solve the problems of the world.
It's fun spending someone else's money.That's the way
our legislators do things, and not much of it filters to the classroom, and
teachers pay. Has there ever been a society that has spent as much money on
education?Yet, when education has problems, teachers take the brunt
of the blame, and their accountability sky rockets to a bunch of new mandatory
regulations, and rules, brought on by those who create the problems:* standardized tests* common core* mandatory paperwork, and
meetings* cooperative learning* teaching strategies* group
work* etcEducation does not have to be complicated, or
expensive to be effective. Simplify it, and make it more effective!
For those who use Utah Right to Know. Insurance costs the state agency
(district) decides to report, the highest option, is added to salaries. So if
option A in your insurance is the best and most costly that is the one the
district reports to URtK. Second, no pension for teachers hired after 2011 I
believe thansk to Dan LIndquist and the legislature. They get a 401k/457 plan
and that is all. Try saving when your making $35k with student loans. Last,
summers are spent with endorsements and further education, not time off. With a
Masters you make $48k to $50k a year with the premium cost of your insurance
passing to you which means less money. The fear in the report should
be those teachers over 31 and 40 walking away. Those are tenured teachers opting
out of the pension they are grandfathered in and that experience is gone. No
mentors to new teachers so with minimal support, new teachers walk also. That
is okay, since the parents of this state prefer no higher taxes so they can have
their recreation items and large families. A perfect storm is brewing and like
it or not, it will take higher wages, increase taxes and a return of the pension
to begin to turn the ship around.
I have an El Ed degree but work in the tech world now. I didn't choose to
leave the field, 20 years ago the growth hadn't hit the area much yet.
After multiple interviews and one offer for a half time computer teaching job
(salary of $12k was NOT appealing) I moved on to a local startup. I really do
miss teaching but I'm glad I'm not there now. I watch a close
relative struggle with kids who have no accountability and extreme behavioral
problems is just not worth it. But it's disappointing that we can't
retain this talent.
I'm reading this article, seeing they "lack hard data" about the
cause. Are these the kind of people who need hard data on why water is wet or
why the sun rises in the east? The answer is they are paid poorly. Duh.
This is not a mystery. Low pay. Endless testing. Policies made by people who
have no clue what teaching really entails. Children with tons of behavior
problems, and teachers are powerless to do anything, lack of decision-making
power, huge class sizes. Loss of prep time and professional development, endless
regulations... I could go on.
Note to DN Moderators: Lighten up.This is not surprising, we have
made teacher burdensome, the pay is lousy but what is worse is that there is
absolutely no growth in salary (0-2% raises per year aren't that
appealing), worsening benefits, no real real pension for new hires and a chance
to be micromanaged and put down at every corner. And those class sizes...
There's no mystery as to the cause. Utah spends less money per student than
most states. Salaries are low, class sizes are huge, public respect for teachers
is low.The teachers who do stay in this profession are true heroes.
They are the only people in the system who seem to actually care about our kids.
73% quit? Holy cow this is a disaster. If this happened in engineering the tech
industry with go bust....so would the medical field. The worst of this effects
large metro areas where the violence combined with the low pay and lack of
resources is not worth it. Public education is collapsing and that is why Trump
appointed the person he did to re-think the direction of eduction altogether.
This really has to be an outside the box thinker and Becky Devos is just that. I
can see the future of education minus the national teacher unions and each state
deciding its own circulum and methods. Many more private and charter schools and
I think home schooling should get some major support as well. The common core
BIG federal govt -- one size fits all -- approach is horrible and a failure but
that is no surprise -- everything Democrats do is a disaster. Inner city kids
need school choice. Charter and private schools need the protection to be
faith-based and require standards of conduct and even dress. Finally teachers
need more education and associated much better starting pay.
@nonamesaccpeted. I was wondering why the republican controlled legislature was
framing the proposed sales tax increase as only 3 percent increase when all
reality it is about a 270 percent increase.Lets call a spade a
If an idealistic new teacher excitedly looks forward to helping students get a
good education and then discovers that he/she can't really provide the help
the students need because of overcrowded classrooms, it can get discouraging. I
asked a teacher what she does if there are too many students in the class. Her
response: "You teach to the middle." It's just that simple.
Students with special needs don't get the help they need because the
teacher simply doesn't have enough time to give each student the special
attention they need and deserve. After two or three years of helplessly and
unsuccessfully trying to provide what the students need and watching kids get
further and further behind simply because there are too many students in the
class, teachers sometimes can get discouraged and leave the profession to get
into a profession that isn't so thankless and discouraging.
Yes, teacher pay is publicized. But potential new teachers probably have no idea
how much of their lives and time outside of school they'll be expected or
need to dedicate to their job in order to be a good teacher. Add that to the
largest class sizes in the nation and the most time spent in front of kids in
the world (35% more time a day spent teaching than most other nations = less
time to prepare and grade), and it is a no-brainer that college students are
running away from teaching as a profession. I'm a teacher, and I love my
job, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone just getting started.
@NoNamesAcceptedI taught in three states and was fully tenured in
two states. I never heard a teacher say "I hate my job". I also never
knew of a teacher who quit to have babies. No, teachers leave the
profession because the frustrations keep mounting. There are a lot of school
principals and administrators who lack the management skills and people skills
to be a crew shift leader at McDonalds. There are school board members who
won't renew a teacher's contract if his daughter is not a straight A
student. There are principals who freak out if they ever have to deal with a
parent over the phone. There are parents with deep-set hatred toward anything
involving teachers. I overheard a female school principal once admit she hired
male teachers solely based upon their looks. I worked for a male principal once
who kept a loaded handgun in the top drawer of his desk. A vice-principal poured
Kahlua in his coffee every morning and staggered around the building until lunch
time. Eventually the idealism and a desire to better this world by
working with children evaporates. Been there. Done that. Happy now.
I think you see a lot of turnover, too, particularly among younger teachers,
because of Utah culture. Traditionally speaking, most primary and secondary
teachers are women. They graduate college, get married, teach for a few years,
start raising a family, and elect to quit their jobs and be stay-at-home moms.
This is very acceptable and even expected in Utah culture, and it isn't
necessarily a bad thing, either.Obviously, this isn't the whole
issue, but it is an important factor that needs to be considered. You either
need to find a work-around (such as encouraging more men to go into teaching or
providing flexible part-time positions where possible) or accept the problem as
it is and deal with the revolving door of young teachers.
I can't imagine why. Poor pay and no retirement. Why on earth isn't
everyone trying to be a teacher?
1-Why does the DesNews report the proposed tax increase as merely 1% or less?
And do so without reporting the current tax rate? The proposed tax increase is
1 percentage Point. On top of our current 5% income tax, this is a 20% increase
in State income tax. 20% increase, not 1%.2-I
immediately wonder how many of the teachers who left the profession did so after
starting a family and desiring to be home with the babies.That
single factor might easily account for the difference in retention rates between
Utah and other schools. But not a single mention of it as a possibility?3-Teacher pay is well publicized. No one should be surprised by it.
However, new teachers might well learn they don't like the work. In that
case moving to a different career is good for the teacher and for students who
deserve teachers who enjoy their work.
Everyone goes into the teaching profession with the best of intentions and no
one thinks they'll wash out in a few years. But the politics run awfully
thick these days. When the politics impede the sanctity of actual teaching,
that's when teachers start looking at different careers. I used
to teach an elective class called "Climate Studies". Do you know what
the outrage would be if I taught such a class nowadays? That would be one heated
school board meeting and parents would want to send me out of town on the next
Greyhound bus. Some school board members would want that too. No
matter how strong or committed you are as an educator, you're up against
people who are spineless and small-minded.Everyone has their
Pay 'em badly, disparage their work, and that's how they repay us?
Best managed State? I disagree. Start paying a decent wage & giving due
respect for those that take care of our highest kids rate in the country.