Keep the teacher fires burning

Norah Colvin with a post that all parents and aspiring teachers should read. As Norah points out, teaching used to be a job for life, but more and more younger teachers are leaving after only a few short years, suffering from burn out.. not from teaching the children the ever changing expectations for data and unrealistic demands made of the children. You are also treated to a piece of Norah’s flash fiction.

Norah Colvin

Teacher burnout is a huge problem. Fading are the days of veteran teachers staying in the job and sharing the wisdom of their experience with the younger generation of teachers. Many articles tell of teachers leaving the profession after five or fewer years.

Teachers start out with fire in their hearts, with an ambition to change lives and improve outcomes for all the children in their care. Many leave after just a few years when that fire has not only burnt out but has burnt them out too.

For others, who contemplate no alternative, the fire smoulders for years until they become cynical with a system that is ever-changing but rarely improving, and expectations that increase exponentially with little recognition of their efforts or the value they add to lives or society.

I recently listened to a book on the topic written by a passionate educator whose fire was extinguished…

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50 thoughts on “Keep the teacher fires burning

  1. Pingback: Keep the teacher fires burning — Smorgasbord Blog Magazine | yazım'yazgısı (typography)

      • They aren’t prepared, Sally. Identifying and working with special needs or difficult children, mounds of ridiculous paperwork, and over 23 children in a class leaves little room for teaching.

        Liked by 2 people

      • We do need great teachers, Sally. And it is sad that more isn’t done to keep the great teachers teaching. When teachers are fortunate to work in a good school, it can be easy to keep the fires burning; but working in a not-so-good school can quickly douse the flames. And by good or not-so-good, I am not referring to the children or their backgrounds. I am referring to the quality of support from the administration and the value placed upon their work from the community. Teachers need to feel their efforts are valued.
        At one school where I worked, morale was very low and the flames were barely flickering. The principal had little respect for teachers and their efforts and had no positive interactions with the staff (unless you worked in the office) or students. He hardly knew us by name, and certainly none of the children. One staff member commented that we were just numbers. I replied that we weren’t even a number because we didn’t count. At least a number would count. That school should have been a good school if one considered its location in a middle-class suburb. But it was far from good. It was a miserable place to teach. Every year saw numerous teachers applying for transfers.
        On the other hand, I worked at a school that was filled with children from migrant and refugee families as well as lower-socio-economic families – what many would have considered a not-so-good school – but it was an excellent school. The principal was very hands-on and involved with the students, supportive of his teachers, and there was a lot of support staff for teaching English and supporting the needs of students and teachers. It was a fun place to teach. No one wanted to leave. I’m still in touch with students from that school (over 30 years ago) and we share wonderful memories of our time there. Mind you, I’m still in touch with students from the first school I described (more recent than 30 years) and we have great memories of our time together too. 🙂
        Oh dear, I’ve given another long answer. Sometimes I can’t help myself. Sorry.

        Liked by 1 person

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