Combating teacher drop-out syndrome

08/09/2011  |  Anna L. Martin
Education Career Path

In my seven years in the classroom, I have watched more than a third of my colleagues leave within their first three years of teaching. I have also seen highly qualified and motivated teachers move out of the classroom, due to a lack of professional growth opportunities. In today’s teaching profession, if you don’t leave the classroom for administration, your first day on the job may look pretty much the same as the day you retire. Our Bay Area New Millennium Initiative team members work in a range of traditional public and charter schools, and we’ve all seen this teacher “drop-out” syndrome.
Our graphic (see "Going Hybrid" article), created as part of a report we’ll release later this fall, suggests ways to compel highly-qualified teachers like us to stay in the profession for the long haul, not just use teaching as a stepping stone to other opportunities. When I think about my own future, I hope that teaching becomes a true profession that gives me the chance to grow and lead. I want a teaching profession that enables me to continue working directly with children while also having an impact outside the walls of my classroom.  
Anna L. Martin is a resource teacher at Lee Mathson Middle School and a member of the Bay Area New Millennium Initiative. The New Millennium Initiative, supported by the Center for Teaching Quality, cultivates groups of teacher leaders who advocate for bold but practical teaching policy reforms to benefit all students.
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