TeacherAppreciationWeekLogoHow often do we consider student wellbeing or welfare at school? My guess is that it would feature highly in the ethos of your school. At the very least there would be a conscious effort to ensure kids were doing “ok”, and reaching out to those considered “at risk” – whatever that risk may be.

But I wonder how often teachers’ wellbeing or welfare is considered? This past week I’ve been researching for piece I’m writing on the attrition rate of new teachers, and the statistics are staggering.

Between 40 – 50% of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years in the job. “We need to pay them more!” is the response of many, “To keep them in the job!”

However the research doesn’t back this up. Sure no-one is going to baulk at extra cash, but it’s other factors that determine whether a teacher stays in their job. Factors such as professional respect in the workplace, creative autonomy (or lack thereof), lack of transition from Uni to the workplace, lack of professional development all rank far higher than salary as reasons for teachers leaving the profession.

In fact I’d say, as a teacher myself, we go into teacher DESPITE the pay, not because of it! I know that this is a Generation Next blog, but if we don’t look after our teachers, who is going to look after the next generation in our schools?

Author: Dan Haesler, he is a teacher, writer and speaker at the Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People seminar at the Gold Coast. He writes for the Sydney Morning Herald and blogs at http://danhaesler.com/ and tweets at @danhaesler