Addressing the Teacher Exodus

March 11, 2024

March has always been the month when educators contemplate what next? Stay in this school or position? Or request a change? Or get out? But in recent years, there’s been an exodus of teachers from schools. Here are the numbers: 

  • Between February 2020 to May 2022, around 300,000 public school teachers and staff left the education field (from the Bureau of Labor Statistics). 
  • At the beginning of 2022, 44% of public schools posted full or part-time teaching vacancies due to unforeseen resignations. Nearly half of all public schools in the U.S. were trying to hire teachers and were short-staffed (from the National Center for Education Statistics).
  • In 2022, there were 567,000 fewer educators in public schools than there were before the pandemic (the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

This trend is daunting, but we can do something about it. 

Although the top issue for teachers is salary, that is followed by a host of other issues, including working conditions, stress and burnout, and being in toxic school cultures. Coaches and leaders can influence those circumstances. And we can do so by starting with the kinds of conversations we engage teachers in. We can have conversations in which teachers tap into their agency, in which they process the feelings that arise in this profession, and in which they identify creative ways to navigate the challenges of teaching. We can have conversations that build teachers’ capacity to problem-solve, to tap into their inner resources, and to find joy in their work.  

Want to learn how to have these conversations? Join us in an upcoming The Art of Coaching workshop. You’ll grow a skillset that can help create the conditions in which educators thrive. There’s no time to waste.

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How trust develops

April 8, 2024

In my newest book, Arise: The Art of Transformational Coaching (July 2024), there's a short section about trust—what it is and how we build it—and this got me thinking about how, at the end of the school year, we often reflect on how our relationships developed. We might think back to what it felt like to start coaching a certain teacher or managing a certain staff member, and how we initially misjudged them, and now we really love them, and how initially they were standoffish, and now they’re open and vulnerable. This is a reflection on the development of trust. 

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Who do you find hardest to listen to?

April 1, 2024

In my newest book, Arise: The Art of Transformational Coaching (July 2024), there is a portion about listening, how we listen, and what it takes for us to listen deeply. 

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Is there “us” and “them” drama on your team?

March 18, 2024

As a coach, I was perceived as being “them”--as being on the “side” of admin. I didn’t know how to deal with this. I felt hurt and angry. I felt rejected. I became defensive and decided to ally myself with the admin. But I also didn’t align in any way with the site administrators. I felt very lonely and unable to deal with all the tension.

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Being a Coach Transformed My Parenting

March 4, 2024

A few months ago, I had one of the most meaningful conversations I’ve ever had with my son. He’d just finished his first semester in college and we were on the beach in Kauai. He was sharing a lot—more than usual—about his first semester. He’s very interested in ethics and philosophy (although he’s a biomedical engineering and neuroscience major) so I thought I’d ask him about his values. He’d also mentioned having done an activity in his leadership program about what made him who he is (“Mom made me who I am,” he’d said, 🙂). 

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