The Great Resignation and You
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Life Strategies & Stress Management
There has been a lot of buzz in the media lately about a phenomenon called "The Great Resignation." A & M Professor Anthony Klotz coined the phrase to describe the mass exodus of individuals from the workplace, and the term has stuck.
Klotz studies patterns of resignations in the workplace as part of his job at A & M. He says that part of the reason for the larger than normal number of resignations in 2021 and 2022 is the result of people hanging on to their jobs in 2020 during the pandemic even though they wanted to quit and would have if the pandemic hadn't occurred. Once the pandemic began to ease and employers started calling workers back to the office, people who had already wanted to quit their jobs did, and people who were fearful for their health and didn't want to return in person just yet added to the exodus.
According to a recent article in Fast Company, the education sector is facing a Great Resignation of its own as teachers are quitting their jobs mid-year in unprecedented numbers. It based its prediction on a recent survey released by the National Education Association that reveals "an alarming 55% of educators now indicating that they are ready to leave the profession they love earlier than planned."
The new survey also shows, "after persevering through the hardest school years in memory, America's educators are exhausted and increasingly burned out. School staffing shortages are not new, but what we are seeing now is an unprecedented staffing crisis across every job category. This crisis is preventing educators from giving their students the one-on-one attention they need. It is forcing them to give up their class planning and lunchtime to fill in for colleagues who are out due to COVID."
These circumstances have led 90% of teachers to say that they are burned out (67% say it's very serious) and 55% to say they are now planning to leave teaching sooner than they had planned.
I hate to say that none of this is news to me.
I have known anecdotally that a time of reckoning was in the making. I talk to teachers almost every day. I hear the frustration in their voices. I see their eyes well up with tears of frustration. I hear story after story of teachers being bullied by their administrators who have issues of their own to deal with, and I have known for a while that the breaking point was near.
It breaks my heart. I dedicated more than half my life to public education, and I believed in it with every fiber of my being. I was so dedicated to advocating for teachers and students that I became President of the Virginia Education Association. But I got a different kind of education while I was there.
During my tenure as President of the VEA, the VEA and the teachers of Virginia were receiving the most disrespectful treatment I could imagine from our then Governor, a pro-school choice advocate. He championed vouchers and charter schools as an alternative to public education. He was egged on by the then Republican-controlled House and state Senate, and we at the VEA fought off assault after assault on teachers and students during my four years in office.
That job burned me out, not my school job as an elementary school library media specialist. By the time I ended my second term in office, I was burned out and turned off by the policies that had been passed even before I took office. I could not work up any enthusiasm for going back to teaching middle school English when I didn't believe in the legitimacy of the standards or the tests that I would be responsible for teaching and administering.
So I took early retirement a full six years ahead of my original plan.
And I have never regretted making that decision.
Now all of this was long before we ever heard of a pandemic or had to deal with the craziness of book banning or debates over Critical Race Theory. So I can't imagine the pressure that teachers are facing today. In my state, the new Governor--another anti-public education guy--has started a "tip line" for parents to call to report teachers they think are violating the policy on teaching history.
It's so bad that all 133 school superintendents in the state have written the Governor to ask him to take the tip line down. But, to my knowledge, he hasn't done that yet. He is catering to a vocal minority of parents instead of listening to the education experts.
My point is that it is little wonder that teachers are looking for the exit door, which is why my business exists.
The whole point of my business is to help the teacher who is ready to make a career change but doesn't know how or where to begin. I offer free resources, a podcast, and the occasional Q & A session to help at no cost.
I also provide a paid program that offers detailed advice on making the career transition you want, and I charge as little as I can to make the program available and still cover the costs of running a business.
Next week, I will be offering a free workshop on the "3 Secrets of EVERY Successful Job Search," and I want to urge you to attend if you have even thought about making a career change in the next few months.
It won't cost anything but your time, and I promised to make it jam-packed with the best advice I can offer.
So, join me Thursday, March 24, 2022, at 7:00 PM EDT (4:00 PM PDT). To register, click here: https://event.webinarjam.com/register/46/5724ka3x
For questions, just reply to this newsletter, and I will be happy to answer whatever questions you may have.
Tell your friends. The more, the merrier.
If you have even entertained the mere thought of joining "The Great Resignation" you need to hear what I have to share with you before you tender your resignation.
Until next time.