New teachers have arguably one of the toughest jobs out there. And there’s no singular “how-to” playbook to guide them through it. That could explain why so many new teachers leave the profession after only a few years.
PPTA data shows that nearly half of all new teachers leave the profession within five years. It’s an enormous loss to schools, and ultimately, to students.
Experienced teachers quit the profession mainly due to a lack of work/life balance and burnout from high workload.
Mentors can make a difference. We can help you.
“It’s a strange thing when the universe conspires and brings people and opportunities together. This was my experience recently, after having decided to take a break from full-time teaching and wondering what I was going to do now.
It all started at the fiftieth wedding anniversary of some dear friends of mine, who had also invited some colleagues and friends from a school I used to work at and haven’t seen in years. We all decided that a reunion lunch was in order, and so, a week later, we gathered in a lovely café and caught up on each other lives.
As lunch progressed, I found myself sitting in awe of these teachers, many of whom were now also working part-time or in an adjacent profession to teaching. I secretly added up at that table was over 200 years of teaching experience from a wide range of subject areas. I was humbled. A couple of these teachers worked for universities as guest lecturers, visiting and observing graduate student teachers. They both shared that along with doing their student lesson observations, they also spent some time talking with and advising the actual teacher of the class. Wouldn’t it be helpful and timely if there were subject advisors still?
Around the table, we started sharing stories about teachers we had supported recently (no names or schools given), and I couldn’t help but sense a Theme and Variations developing. The common motif from all these teachers was “I am so exhausted.” With every variation on this theme played to its fullest. Was this just Covid fatigue affecting teachers currently? Or was there something else going on here? We agreed that more and more is being asked of teachers, especially Heads of Department, outside of their core business of teaching.
As our conversation progressed, we made a Da Capo back to the subject advisers. I recalled to everyone how lucky I was when I first arrived in New Zealand, to probably be one of the last people supported by the Music adviser before the program was shelved.
That was the moment of Coda when a light bulb flashed in my head. Here I was, surrounded by over 200 years of expert teaching experience. I have always believed in being proactive and not waiting for someone else to do what needs doing if I can do it myself. So I asked the table, “Why don’t we all share our experience and bring back the advisers ourselves?” Suddenly the table was alive with excitement, enthusiasm and lively discussion of possibilities. At that moment, The Teaching Practice was born.
The Teaching Practice aims to provide highly experienced facilitators working individually with teachers to increase their content knowledge, competence, and confidence in teaching. They are further sources of both content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge for teachers and are working to support high-quality teaching, effective classroom practice, and improving practice to meet the diverse needs of all ākonga.”