Author: Antoinette Morris
Posted: 24 Oct 2023
Estimated time to read: 3 mins
Teaching has long been considered a noble profession, one that nurtures the minds of future generations and shapes the leaders of tomorrow. Recent years, however, have shown a concerning trend of teachers leaving the profession in droves.
The reasons behind this exodus are multifaceted, but one key solution that has been gaining traction in the UK is social emotional learning (SEL).
So, what's driving teachers away, and how can SEL make a difference?
Why are teachers quitting teaching?
So why are teachers leaving the profession? There's no one single answer, but here are some factors that are likely contributing:
Burnout: Teaching is a demanding profession that often requires long hours, a heavy workload and a constant juggling act to meet the diverse needs of students. Many educators experience burnout, which leaves them physically and emotionally drained.
Low pay: Despite their vital role in society, teachers are often undervalued and underpaid. This financial strain can make it difficult to make ends meet, especially for young teachers just starting their careers.
Lack of support: Many teachers feel that they don't receive the support they need to manage classroom behaviour, address diverse learning needs and adapt to the ever-evolving educational landscape.
Administrative pressure: Teachers are often subjected to high-stakes testing and rigorous evaluations, which can contribute to a culture of anxiety and pressure.
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Emotional toll: Educators frequently experience emotional stress when they witness the challenges their students face, including bullying, mental health issues and difficult home situations.
All of these factors can erode an individual's enthusiasm for teaching and drive them to seek alternatives. But what can we actually do about it?
SEL and teacher retention
Social emotional learning is an educational approach that focuses on teaching students essential life skills such as self awareness, self regulation, empathy and effective communication. These skills are not only vital for students but can also have a profound impact on teachers and the overall education system.
Stress reduction: SEL provides teachers with the tools to manage stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance. By nurturing their own emotional intelligence, educators can cope with the pressures of teaching more effectively.
Improved classroom management: The ability to teach students emotional regulation and conflict resolution can lead to a more harmonious classroom environment, reducing the stress of managing disruptive behaviour.
Teacher-student relationships: SEL helps educators build stronger, more empathetic relationships with their students, which can foster a sense of belonging and trust in the classroom.
Self care: SEL promotes self care and self awareness for the teachers as well as the students. Encouraging teachers to take time for themselves and recognise their own emotional needs is so important, especially if they're feeling burnt out.
Are you interested in SEL but don't know where to start?
Implementing SEL in your school can feel like a daunting task, with many wanting to introduce it but having no idea where to start.
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