Survey after survey confirms teachers feel stressed and burned out. Nearly 75 percent of teachers experience frequent job-related stress, compared to just a third of working adults. More than half of teachers have considered leaving the profession earlier than originally planned.
Exhausted and frustrated teachers face a growing list of adversities, including:
- Insufficient funding
- Overwhelming administrative work
- Demanding parents
- Hostile communities
Dire staffing shortages have added to an unprecedented level of strain. When educators pick up the slack from unfilled positions, their work obligations increase. But their plates merely grow more full — nothing is ever removed. Districts can’t afford to lose more teachers and must take steps to assist them.
Key contributors to educators leaving the field include a lack of preparation, mentoring and support. Professional development, however, is one powerful tool that can alleviate some of the pressure and help reduce teacher turnover.
Benefits of professional development
Continuing education and career training make up a vital part of the educational process. It exposes educators to the latest instructional methods, offering research-based best practices and providing the confidence to teach new concepts. New and seasoned teachers can level up their skills and work toward subject mastery.
Workshops and peer groups provide a creative outlet for teachers to lean on each other for advice. More than half of teachers consider collaboration with colleagues the most effective type of professional development. When teachers are encouraged to support each other, they learn new ways to excel in their classroom, improving instruction.
By investing in their teachers, districts directly invest in their students. According to the U.S. Department of Education, student achievement increases as much as 21 percent when their teachers participate in professional development programs and adopt different techniques to deliver instruction. This positive impact is crucial as student math and reading scores decline across the country.