Why Are Teachers Burning Out?

By Peter Greene, Curmudgucation

It has been half a year since Campbell Brown took over the LA School Report, but the site still occasionally publishes something that's not bunk. Reader Bill Spangler brought this next piece to my attention, and it's worth a look.

"Why Teachers Are Burning Out" is the second in a five-part series about teacher turnover. The first piece in the series looked at how high the LA turnover is and what the costs are, and managed to do so without suggesting that this is actually a good thing or it would be helped by removing tenure. The series is being written by Jane Mayer, a former teacher with both public and charter schools in LA, and Jesse Soza, a former teacher who did a dissertation on origins of teacher dissatisfaction and turnover.

The second entry is actually pretty short and clear and I'm not inclined to argue with it. After surveying some data and experts (including teacher workforce guru Richard Ingersoll), the writers move to a pretty simple statement of the issue:

Could it really be so simple that all teachers need to stay in the classroom is to feel heard, respected and empowered?


When there is a workforce that is intelligent, well-educated, compassionate and committed to service, the best way we can honor them is to trust them to do their jobs. Trust them to teach what needs to be taught, trust their experiences in the classroom are valuable sources of information, trust that they are experts at teaching.

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