Editorial: How unrealistic expectations, unreasonable demands have led to teacher resignations

Editorial Agenda 2020 Shared Concerns - School

MADISON, Wis. — While the numbers themselves are not necessarily alarming we’re still worried about how many teachers resigned from the Madison School District last year, and especially the most oft-stated reasons for the resignations.

Turnover in a high-stress business like teaching is to be expected and may be to some degree desirable. Teachers today know what they’re getting into which makes their passion and dedication all the more admirable. But there is no question many of us are adding to the stressful conditions in many of our schools and even more importantly we don’t do enough to support teachers and respect and honor the profession. Some of that is the responsibility of school administrators and policies. But a lot of it involves unrealistic expectations and unreasonable demands.

We think answers include good principals, shared governance and better pay and benefits. But ultimately it’s how we value teachers and the teaching profession and our commitment to conditions that encourage the best to stay and teach.