Ive been at my school for 17 years - I love my profession, truly feel it is a calling.
That said - I have mentored new teachers for the last ten or so - Here are some reasons that some have left. remember that half of new teachers leave the profession within the first five years. These are some of the cons we deal with:
1. work load. You do *not* have summers, vacations or even weekends off. the kids do - you are expected to grade and plan on your own time. I work every day - the new teachers who I mentor always begin by thinking that the kids time off is theirs also - they are unprepared and overwhelmed when class begins. I work daily 7am-4pm, bring home an hours work and 8-noon on weekends (planning/grading) Summers are spent continuing education/meetings/classroom setup and more planning. As an English teacher - your load will be greater than mine.
2. stress. This is the most consistent complaint from my new teachers. It is hard to prepare anyone for 160 different student needs and demands - not to mention the parent and administration.
3. isolation - you really are on your own. Asking for help is encouraged - but nothing truly gets done unless you do it yourself. Your student behavior issues are yours to deal with. In the old days - they handed us the key to the room and that was the last we saw of admins. Now - theyll give you the key and come to see if you are doing what they want.
4. supplies - how much extra money do you have? I spend 100 dollars per month on my classroom - new teachers spend more. That idea that the school provides it all is nonsense - I have to buy printer ink as I write.
5. education - your learning never ends - you are expected to continue your education forever. I have a masters degree - I took a Math course at UCLA last summer to fulfill some requirements. (all paid for by me) There was once a funny thing that happened to a colleague - He was a veteran of many years in our district - My district changed the staff development rules and required every employee to take a course the district provided on student differentiation. He asked to skip this class (for good reason) and was denied. He actually wrote the curriculum - his name was on the BOOK they used in class! He had to pass his own tests.
6. Placement - You may not be in control of what you teach. As a new teacher, you will be given whichever classes they choose for you. You have little say in this decision. I have biology, health, geoscience and mathematics credentials. I have taught computers, art, music, science enrichment ( a class with no curriculum they created ) in my career. I did not suggest these - they were given to me. Ive asked to teach a geometry course for the last five years - still nothing.
7. volunteering - your school will require you to volunteer your time. Some schools require their new hires to coach a sport, sponsor a club or supervise dances and such.
8. Pay - Ive saved the biggest reason for last - most of my new teachers who did talk to me about their leaving cited the pay. What salary is enough for a career that requires an advanced degree and lifetime continued education? Our pay is 15 percent less than careers with like educational requirements. So once the new teachers see the workload, stress and other things on my list - they are quick to go back to school or look for another job.
As I said before - none of the above 8 bother me - I love my school. However, some do not see the same things I do - and thus they leave.