The number of educators pursuing a teaching credential in California fell 12% last year, the eighth year in a row of decline. Students who were intending to become teachers by taking teacher preparation programs numbered roughly 17,000 less in 2010-11 than in 2006-07.
A poll conducted by the MetLife Foundation found that the percentage of teachers feeling stressed several days a week rose from 35% to 51% in the years since 1985. Another poll of teachers showed only 39% were satisfied with their jobs.
Dean Vogel, president of the California Teachers Association, commented that the reasons teachers were disillusioned about their profession included: the increase in layoffs; budgets cuts since 2008; bigger classes; cuts in art, music, and science programs; and the emphasis on test scores instigated by the 2001 No Child Left Behind federal law.
Vogel claimed the latter reason had taken the joy out of teaching for some educators.
Vogel added, “Teachers come to work with the general belief that they’re going to make a difference and be the decision maker in their classroom. But the difference in their ideal and what’s actually happening is that they’re deciding they don’t want to do it.”