Why Teachers Quit – 3 Key Takeaways

Teachers are extremely important for the fate of the earth. But far more fundamental is the importance of teachers for their schools. Teachers are the building blocks of the schools and no school can truly thrive until its teachers are committed towards its cause. Unsurprisingly, every time a teacher quits her school, it is a setback to the entire ecosystem of that school. It is a loss of precious school resources and time spent in not only acquainting and training the teacher who chose to quit but also in finding a suitable replacement for her and go through the entire process with the new teacher all over again.

Clearly, preventing teachers from quitting is important for the schools in more ways than one. Despite the challenges, there are a few simple things which can actually prove extremely effective in curbing this menace. Based on our experience at SchoolPad and talking to a variety of schools on the same topic, below are the 3 key takeaways:

  1. Setting the Right Financial Expectations: Disagreement over the incentives, both financial and otherwise, including pay, perks and promotions are understandably the top reasons behind teachers choosing to quit their school or switch to other schools. It is critical for the school management to ensure that expectations are set right from the very beginning—not just in terms of the salary figures but the specifics about the perks and promotion process as well. The appraisal process must be clearly defined and articulated. There should be no scope for confusion or inconsistencies. A well defined, clear cut appraisal system and a transparent pay/perks/promotion policy is the best way to ensure that these do not become a ground for lingering dissatisfaction among the teachers which may eventually trigger their exodus.
  2. Accurate Projection of School’s Culture, Type of Work and Key Responsibilities
    Misunderstandings and mismatched cultural and work related expectations often become a breeding ground of dissatisfaction for teachers. It is essential that the teacher is acquainted, right from the very beginning, with the prevalent culture of the school, the required skills, the key responsibilities required to be fulfilled and the exact type of workload that she will have to deal with.The work hours that are required to be put in by the teachers including the instances when longer hours may be required as well as information about the workload and the parameters that are applicable for measuring the work quality are other important pieces of information that must be shared with the teachers upfront. If there is a change in any of these policies, the information must be shared clearly, promptly and directly. Withholding information or improper dissemination of information creates an atmosphere of distrust and dissatisfaction—a potential and potent trigger for the teachers to quit and move on.
  3. Importance of Inspiring Teachers And Keeping Them Motivated
    Opportunities for growth coupled with due reward and appreciation from the management are a sign of a healthy workplace. Keeping the teachers inspired and motivated is extremely important and schools need to invest in systems and mechanisms that are designed to keep the staff motivation high.Unfortunately, in case of teachers, a well calibrated appreciation and reward mechanism is often missing in schools. Financial perks and regular promotions matter but it is also essential to acknowledge and appreciate their craft as dedicated teachers. The schools need to look beyond tangible, financial rewards and acknowledge their worthy teachers by projecting them as role-models and mentors for fellow teachers. The schools can organize peer to peer learning sessions and knowledge sharing initiatives, thus promoting inculcation of quality not only at an individual level but also at the organizational level.Job satisfaction and sense of belongingness to the workplace are two of the most important deciding factors that govern the decisions like staying at a job or quitting it.

    By maintaining a culture in the school that values and invests in its teachers, school management can ensure that the number of teachers quitting their job out of sheer dissatisfaction or sense of stagnancy is kept to the minimum. The school management needs to have a clear vision about its goals and motivations in order to be able to create a coherent environment for its teachers that seeks to inspire, motivate and nurture them. Good teachers gravitate towards work places and cultures that bring out the best in them and the best way for the schools to ensure that their teachers stay with them is by ensuring a healthy and productive environment in their schools.
  • M.R. Sriprasad

    When people approach me for a job in teaching or training my first question is “What is your dream job?” Unless it is teaching/training I do not proceed with the second question, “Are you under financial stress like paying huge loans etc.” If the answer to this question is “No”, then I proceed further. Passion for any job is very important and i would like to see people embrace this profession out of happiness rather than out of frustration. There is money in this profession but unfortunately because of few instances there is big myth that schools/colleges/training providers make lot of money. It depends on who is the person managing the show. If it is a professional from teaching background these people reinvest the profit back into business into taking the courses to higher levels and do not take truck loads of money as perceived by people. In spite of setting the financial expectations, I have lost couple of talents because they listened to such rumours.