Three cheers for our early career teachers

Education HQ

November 27, 2015

They are a rare species in some schools, such as mine, but more obvious in others. Some you will recognise by their brimming enthusiasm and energy, but others may look exhausted, weighed down by the pressures of adapting to a new environment with all the challenges that 21st century classrooms and schools provide.

My question is just how do we treat these newest members of our teaching profession – maybe not as well as we should be if we consider the latest research on attrition rates of early career teachers (ECTs) in Australia.

Current research suggests that as many as 30 per cent of ECTs consider permanently leaving the teaching profession before retirement, with higher figures for male teachers and for teachers in remote areas (Hay Group, 2014, Queensland College of Teachers, 2013).

The implications of this for the teacher personally, their school and society are considerable.

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