A study published in the British Journal of Educational Studies has raised the issue of the quality of life that teachers experience. In the study, 1200 teachers were interviewed, and of those just over half reported that they wanted to leave the profession after 10 years. The main reasons given for this were the high workload and the desire for a better work-life balance. In regards to workload, many teachers found that they disliked being supervised and the bureaucracy of teaching.
While most respondents reported that they say teaching as a long term career (75%), not so many teachers reported that they were happy with their job or that they actually intended to stay doing it forever.
As far as the reasons the study found for why people wanted to become teachers, the main reasons were making a difference (about 2 in 3), working with young people (64%) and love for teaching (1 in 2). But once these people started teaching, the boredom and difficulty of the job often dampened their enthusiasm, according to the study.
While many teachers expected a high workload before starting the profession, many reported that it was even higher than they expected, and too much of the job was not focused on teaching, but rather marking exams, evaluation, preparing for reviews and so on – the least creative areas.
“It is not that they were not aware that the teaching was going to be demanding,” the authors point out. “However, they feel that the demands of the work exceed their capacity for adaptation. This raises the questions: what can be done to stop this trend? The general response of the government is that education will improve by reducing the workload, eliminating unnecessary tasks and increasing payment. This can help, and our study continues the discourse that the workload is key. However, it also indicates that part of the problem lies in the culture of teaching, constant scrutiny, the need to perform, and hypercritical management. Just reducing the workload will not address these problems. ”
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