Between 40 and 50 percent of educators leave their job within the first five years of teaching, while nearly 10% leave before completing one whole year. The reasons for teachers leaving one school for another can vary significantly from typical employment concerns such as salary or location to more teacher-specific and intangible issues such as a lack of respect, according to The Atlantic magazine.
With such a high number teacher turnover every year, there are a lot of educators looking for new jobs and often many vacancies that school administrators need to fill.
There are dozens of techniques that can help educators find a new job regardless of if they’re recent graduates or long-time veterans. Learn more about the best ways to find better employment as an educator by examining where teachers are needed most, what techniques will give you the best chance of being hired, and what you should be wary of on the job hunt.
Schools around the U.S. do not have all the teachers they need. There are shortages in the number of teachers for specific geographical locations as well as shortages for certain subjects across a wider region. The U.S. Department of Education collects data on all of the schools in the U.S. and reports the “teacher shortage areas” by state and compare the data to shortages from 25 years ago.
Although the Dept. of Education specifically notes that the data should not be viewed as an employment directory for a number of reasons – such as these areas of need may not have the budget to hire new educators – this information can be a powerful tool in looking for a new teaching career. This information can be used by teachers to find the geographic areas most in need of new educators; where young teachers may be more likely to find employment. It can even provide information about which concentrations are hiring, and how veteran teachers should adapt or continue their education to be most hirable.
The data can also show educators which regions are losing their teachers because of insufficient classroom support, bad pay, or licensing problems, The Washington Post explained. The data may tell a simple story of supply and demand, but digging deeper into analysis may yield helpful job hunt information.
Looking at the reasons for general teacher shortages across the country may also help. Fewer students are becoming teachers than in the past, with the number of education graduates dropping by almost 10,000 between 2004 and 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Philly.com reported that some of the main reasons that fewer students are going into teaching include small school budgets, increased testing, and reduced public respect.
In addition to looking at data to hone your job search and understand what the market is looking for, there are a number of steps that teachers can take to improve their chances to find a job.
Educators who are looking for a new job need to be on the lookout for warning signs that the job posting they’re excited about isn’t too good to be true. In addition to analyzing the reasons why a community may be experiencing a teacher shortage with the Dept. of Education data, teachers should know the common challenges of teaching. Many leave jobs after short periods of time because limited resources and after-hours work wear on them.
While hunting for a new job, teachers should ask difficult questions to get to the heart of what is expected of them, what the budget limitations are, and the level of academic success at the school. This may act as a red flag or at least a way to set realistic expectations. Bureaucracy, low wages, high stress, difficulty with administration, and testing are all common teacher issues, according to the Dept. of Education, so teachers should be sure to understand exactly what their jobs entail in and outside of the classroom.
There are shortages in the number of teachers all across the United States, but there is no shortage of students in need of great educators. Whether a new teacher looking for your first job or an experienced educator ready for a change of scenery, starting and continuing a career in education can help countless students.
Use some of these tips and resources to find your optimal career in education.