In my weekly news email from LinkedIn, the January 1st subject read, “Teachers quitting in record numbers.” As someone who desires to be a lifelong educator but recently decided to step out of the classroom, I found myself both relating with the teachers’ perspectives and feeling discouraged with the circumstances.
A quick Google image search of “education quotes” brings up a never ending scroll of serene images and inspirational messages from Maya Angelou to Malcolm X to Nelson Mandela to Ghandi and numerous U.S. Presidents, all conveying a similar idea: Knowledge is power and education is the key to economic success and prosperity. Yet, according to the Wall Street Journal educators are resigning at the highest rate on record, and out of 71 countries that participated in the 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the United States ranked 24th in science, 24th in reading, and 38th in math (The PISA is conducted every three years and the 2018 data has a tentative release date of December 2019). We say education is the key to success and prosperity, so we would expect education to be a top to priority. However, teachers are quitting and test scores are hardly showing us ahead of the pack. So, where is the disconnect and what do we do about it?