Reflection #18: Why Teachers are Leaving Now, Helping Them Stay with Rita Wirtz

By Barbara Bray

Join Barbara Bray in conversations with awesome educators, leaders, and influencers as they talk about their passion and purpose for planting seeds for change. Each podcast has a link to a related blog post with more information and resources.

Cross-post from Teachers Packing Suitcases Filled With Dreams- Walking Out Classroom Doors.     Let’s Get Real. Episode #2
We are aware there are plenty of shortages at the moment including teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria cooks, support staff. And add in a tremendous need for counselors, nurses, social workers, psychologists. 
Do you see that happening? I hope so! What better use of funding than supporting our traumatized children and staff. Let’s also remember there are probably no classroom volunteers and likely a shortage of paras. That puts a huge burden on teachers.
And let’s consider administrators, the tough decisions being made by principals and superintendents. I thought I had a challenging situation, where I was, while Principal, but nothing like this. It’s also time to take a look at School Boards and their significant role in what happens. Hopefully, administrators and teachers are actively seeking out Board Members to share needs and requests. Better yet, I’d love to see educators running to be on School Boards, then we’ll really see changes in favor of what teachers know to be true. Their everyday action research is meaningful and powerful. Power and politics right now are run amok, in my opinion and I hope to see that change in the short term.
School Principals, Assistant principals. This is leadership where it really counts. How admirable watching these Captains right their ships with laser-like focus. It matters. Leadership right now, in this defining moment puts us on the cusp of a brave new educational world, future is now, really. It’s imperative that school leadership is shared, with teachers’ opinions counting. If there was ever a time for autonomy, it’s right now. I recognize teachers can’t take on one more thing, but having a voice in what happens at school is worth that effort.
And Tik Tok Trends, Unlawful and Dangerous, to Deal With. 
After I finished my draft of this article, I caught a really sickening article in my newsfeed. Written by Alia Wong, in USA Today: Her headline is ‘Devious licks’ asks students to’ smack a staff member.’ “The nation’s teachers are feeling burnt out.”
“Educators across the country are already overwhelmed with the chaos that is teaching during a pandemic. As if that weren’t enough, now they’re contending with a different kind of chaos: a TikTok trend that encourages students to cause havoc on campus. This month, that havoc could reach a new level, resulting in physical violence against teachers and other school employees. And the prospect has already-demoralized educators increasingly worried about the sustainability of their profession as it stands.” 
In September, its inaugural month,