Most of us can recall our favourite teachers and how they impacted our experience of school for the better. We all know just how important teachers are.
They are multi-tasking superheroes but in the UK we are facing a major teaching crisis.
40% of new teachers leave the profession within five years of qualifying. This means that our children are losing talented individuals who genuinely want to make a big difference to young lives.
Matthew Hood, CEO of Big Change project partner, Institute for Teaching, recently said at one of our events;
If you feel like you’re getting better at your job, you feel like you have a purpose you feel like you’re in an environment where you can be successful you’re likely to be happier and keep getting better and stay doing that thing for a longer period of time. This is just basic human nature. But when you combine teachers not feeling like they’re getting better – they’ve plateaued- and you combine incredibly stressful, difficult working environments what you see is huge numbers of teachers leaving the profession.
Why change is needed
We need big change for teachers because they are fast becoming the most stressed workforce in the country. More than a quarter of teachers rely on medication to cope with the stress of their job.
It’s clear that we need to invest in the wellbeing of teachers, which in turn impacts the wellbeing of students.
It’s not as if financial investment isn’t happening – currently schools spend over £1 billion each year on teacher development. The big problem is that this investment is too often not delivering the right progress.
Change is happening
This year one of Big Change’s focus areas is teacher wellbeing. Over 200 incredible people are out on the Virgin Strive Challenge this month raising money to fund more project in our focus areas, which also include school exclusions and early years engagement.
For teachers, we find and fund innovative projects that support them to enjoy their work and sharing the load by being more collaborative, so that they keep making big changes for youth in the UK.
The Institute for Teaching achieves big change as a specialist graduate school re-thinking teacher education and focusing on helping teachers to keep improving.
Big Change also supports How to Thrive, which runs programs for teachers and parents to support young people to develop their resilience and build tools for dealing with life’s challenges. In this way they help teachers to navigate the classroom and feel equipped to support their students.
Head over to the Strive website and hit that ‘donate’ button to help us fund more projects like these.