It's a terrible time to be a teacher
And salaries are not the primary factor driving dissatisfaction. They've always been low. It's disrespect. Like my wife's tee shirt says: "Those who can, teach. Those who can't, pass legislation about teaching." From The Atlantic.
Perceived low pay certainly seems to account for a tiny slice of teachers’ concerns; salaries, Corcoran said, “are definitely not the end of the story.” In a “Quality of Worklife” survey of more than 30,000 educators last year, just 46 percent said their salaries were a major source of stress in the workplace. Testing fatigue, bloated bureaucracy, little time to reflect and decompress and develop professionally have all taken a significant toll on teachers’ job satisfaction. In that same survey, which was conducted jointly by the American Federation of Teachers and an activist group known as the Badass Teachers Association, nearly three in four respondents identified the “adoption of new initiatives without proper training or professional development” as a major source of stress, for example. “We used to be treated as professionals who were allowed to have autonomy in our classrooms and play to our strengths or our background in education,” Rebecca Simcoe, a former high-school English teacher in Tulsa with a doctorate who resigned in 2014, told CBS News last year. “Now we’re expected to be automatons following their robotic instructions, just getting these kids to pass tests.” Most states, from Oregon to New York, now tie teacher evaluations to student test scores; in 2009, only a handful of states did so.
And teachers’ workplace woes run the gamut from the political to the mundane: As I’ve written before, the Quality of Worklife survey found that one in four teachers cite their lack of time to use the restroom is an everyday stressor. It’s no wonder so many teachers opt to work in private schools, which typically offer much lower pay but working conditions that are far more palatable. Or that they often forego sizable raises in exchange for working in tougher conditions. One Mathematica study on 10 school districts in multiple states found that a majority of the candidates who’d been selected for a program offering $20,000 to highly effective teachers who agreed to transfer to and remain at low-performing schools declined to participate; most didn’t even attend an information session. As the teacher Paul Barnwell argued in a piece for The Atlantic last year, “No matter the compensation scheme, these strategies fail to acknowledge the impact of school culture and climate on work satisfaction—which often takes precedence over pay for experienced teachers.”