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The Struggle of Educators: Why Teachers Are Opting Out

Last Updated: March 12, 2024

In the hallowed halls of our schools, where knowledge is imparted and futures are shaped, a quiet crisis is brewing. Educators, the unsung heroes who dedicate their lives to nurturing young minds, are increasingly raising their hands in surrender. The stress, the relentless hours, and the bureaucratic processes are taking a toll. It’s time to listen closely. In this article, we delve into the challenges faced by teachers and explore why they’re contemplating leaving the profession.



The Alarming Statistics

According to a recent survey conducted by the Australian Education Union (AEU), 39% of early-career teachers plan to exit the profession within a decade. This figure has doubled since 2020 when only 18% expressed such intentions. The reasons behind this exodus are multifaceted, but let’s dissect the core issues.


1. Excessive Workloads

Teachers are no strangers to burning the midnight oil. They juggle lesson planning, grading, parent-teacher meetings, and extracurricular activities. The workload often spills beyond the classroom, with many educators putting in 20 hours of overtime each week. The result? Fatigue, burnout, and a diminishing passion for teaching.


2. Student Behaviour Challenges

In a diverse classroom, teachers encounter students with varying needs, abilities, and backgrounds. Imagine teaching a Year 5 class where some children struggle with basic literacy while others are ready for advanced material. The pressure to cater to this spectrum of learners is immense. Behavioural issues further compound the challenge, leaving teachers emotionally drained.


3. Financial Strain

Teachers are bearing a significant financial burden. Across the profession, educators are spending upwards of $15,000 on work-related expenses, including classroom supplies and resources. This financial strain weighs heavily, particularly when salaries fail to align with the unwavering dedication teachers bring to their classrooms, as well as failing to align with the increasing cost of living crisis. 


4. Lack of Resources

Effective teaching demands a toolbox of resources. Unfortunately, many schools struggle to provide adequate materials. Some classrooms are at the point where some students can’t read the whole alphabet, while some in the same class are ready for complex lessons. Teachers yearn for more resources to address diverse needs, but the system often falls short. Schools need to invest in the right educational tools and platforms if they want to equip their teaching staff for success.


5. Health and Well-Being Sacrifices

When illness strikes, relief teachers should step in. But staff shortages make it challenging to take time off. Teachers across the country are scheduling important medical appointments and surgeries for later in the term, opting to recover during school holidays rather than taking sick leave. The personal sacrifice is evident: teachers put their students and colleagues before their own well-being, with zero reward.



Our teachers are the backbone of education. To retain their passion and expertise, we must address these pressing issues. Invest in professional development, give them the right tools to lighten their workloads, and recognise their invaluable contributions. Only then can we ensure that our classrooms remain vibrant spaces for learning and growth.

Education360 can help to save our teachers hours of administration work, use the button below to book in your free consultation.