"I gave up teaching after three years."
Yesterday was the first officially hot day of the summer season in Florida, so off to pool I went.
The pool is usually quiet on most days, but yesterday was packed and social, so I found myself engaged in a conversation with a woman who "used to be" a teacher.
I was baffled by the phrase "used to be" because she was so young-looking, so I asked her how long she spent in the classroom.
"I only made it three years."
There is so much to unpack in that one simple sentence:
"Only made it" as if teaching were some type of year long military training exercise or a task so grueling that it takes everything you have to get through it.
And "three years". This woman, like so many others, acquired a 4-year degree in education, only to turn around after three years and abandon it completely.
Sidebar: Abandon is the accurate word as she is now working in the sales department of a massive local corporation.
Of course, after hearing that she had "only made it three years", I simply had to ask...
Turns out, she had several students with disabilities in her high school courses, she had never received professional learning on best practices, and there was no professional support for her. Ever.
THIS is a problem.
Essentially, she had no support, training, or coaching, so therefore, she was unable to support her students. She abandoned her teaching career because she felt frustrated by the lack of support and was left to "figure it out".
The education profession is losing teachers in droves. There are articles, news stories, social media posts written every day about the mass exodus.
Do I think teachers would be more likely to stay in their chosen profession if they had training? No.
I do think that teachers would feel more successful and confident in their expertise if they had the knowledge to best support their students.
If they had a toolbox with plenty of strategies, ideas, and resources.
If they had time to meet with coaches to learn how to make learning accessible to students with learning differences.
There is so much that needs to change in our current educational climate. Professional learning relevant to the students they serve is just one of the pieces.
Perhaps, if we did that, they just might stay a bit longer...
Inclusiveology provides professional learning, coaching, and support for school communities so every child can have what they need to be included in learning. CLICK HERE to learn more.