COLUMN: Why teachers are leaving the profession 


Ellen Dooley

Ellen Dooley, Columnist

There was recently a bill proposal going through Indiana state legislation. Indiana House Bill 1134 would require teachers to have a year worth of lesson plans done before the school year starts. They are supposed to plan their daily lessons without even meeting their students. Without seeing how they learn, how they retain information, and what needs need to be met in the classroom.  

Seems a little extreme right? There are everyday things that cause teachers to stress and worry before the next school year starts. Teachers will even stress about the next school year during the current school year. 

Teachers are also in charge of the social, mental, and physical health of an overcrowded classroom full of students that come from various cultures and backgrounds. They must make the big bucks, right? You would be completely wrong. According to Zip Recruiter and, the starting salary for an entry level teacher is between $41,053 and $54,302.

Not the greatest, but still above minimum wage. This is not to mention all the student loans you must pay back and the ever-rising cost of living. I just cannot wait to move back in with my parents after school! Well, it is either that or sharing a cardboard box with the opossum on the street.  

Teachers are tired of doing work before work, so that they do not have to do even more work after they work after work. Catch that? Teachers already do so much work during the day that they must come in even early to make copies, get the classroom ready, and grade papers.  

So why is there a teacher shortage? Well on top of that, they are stuck teaching in a global pandemic. Just wonderful! Teachers are tired of dealing with noncompliant students and their parents. They put their health and their families’ health in danger by going to work every day. But a student can still yell at them and tell them they are not going to wear a mask. 

Teachers are becoming so fed up with all these stressful problems that they are simply leaving. They are so exhausted and mentally burnt out that they cannot handle it. Some even quit during the school year. They are done being treated and paid poorly that they feel the need to find another career.  

So why am I going into this profession when I see people running out the door as I enter? Because there are people that care about these students. There are people out there that would rather live in a cardboard box and help students succeed day in and day out.  

There are many educators who have put countless years into mastering their craft just to help children and see them grow into young adults and succeed in their lives.  

There is an endless pit of problems within the teaching profession, but we must advocate for those who taught us everything we know and taught us to grow.  

Ellen Dooley is a sophomore special education standard major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].