Why Do So Many Teachers Quit Their Jobs? Because They Hate Their Bosses Writing in The Atlantic, John Tierney summarizes research on why new teachers quit.
. . . the most important factor influencing commitment was the beginning teacher’s perception of how well the school principal worked with the teaching staff as a whole. This was a stronger factor than the adequacy of resources, the extent of a teacher’s administrative duties, the manageability of his or her workload, or the frequency of professional-development opportunities.
A third of teachers in their first two years change schools or quit teaching altogether, Tierney writes. Turnover is higher in urban schools with low-income, hard-to-teach students.
The new research affirms much of what earlier studies have found. For example, an earlier (2003) multiyear study of 50 teachers in Massachusetts found that teachers who left the profession often “described principals who were arbitrary, abusive, or neglectful.”
It’s not just new teachers, Tierney adds. Job satisfaction for all teachers depends on the principal’s managerial style.