In vele westerse landen is het beroep van leraar een knelpuntberoep. Te weinig kandidaten stromen in naar de lerarenopleiding en beginnende leraren verlaten na enkele jaren het beroep. Een helder overzicht van de motieven om leraar te worden en de oorzaken voor de uitstroom zijn in kaart gebracht door Pearson op basis van een survey onderzoek (2015). Het synthetisch en schematisch overzicht is te vinden op volgende webpagina:
Het survey onderzoek kan gedownload worden via de website van Pearson en www.lkmco.org.uk :
Dit overzicht blijft actueel en zet aan om na te denken over acties die kunnen ondernomen worden om het knelpuntberoep aantrekkelijk te houden voor de komende jaren aangezien de vele openstaande vacatures de kwaliteit van het onderwijs in het gedrang brengen.
Uit het onderzoeksrapport ‘Why teach’ brengen we volgende citaten:
Teachers’ reasons for entering the profession are shaped by personal circumstance and opportunity, and are driven by a range of academic, pragmatic and social reasons. Whilst entry to the profession can be accidental as much as purposive, what matters more is the shift between trying out teaching and committing to the profession. Here, whilst pragmatic factors like pay and convenience remain important (and may play an increasing role as teachers settle down and have a family,) the pleasure of teaching and being part of a school, coupled with the crucial experience of ‘making a difference’ becomes central. For some teachers, making a difference is about changing individual pupils’ lives or helping them to grasp a concept, for others it is a wider commitment to social-justice.
How can we encourage people to become teachers?
The key is to get teachers through the door- it is then that they can experience what makes teaching rewarding. Emphasising the opportunity to make a difference to pupils’ lives and convincing people that they might be good at it will help do this. Tapping into subject interest can also help draw people to secondary teaching, though this is not currently driving STEM teachers to the same extent as arts and humanities teachers. Meanwhile, primary school teachers can be encouraged to enter teaching by emphasising the opportunity to spend time with children and young people.
How can we retain experience and expertise within the system?
If teachers are to be kept in the profession they need to feel they are having an impact. Distractions from working with pupils and constraints on their ability to act as professionals therefore hamper retention. A large proportion of teachers are considering leaving the profession and this is largely due to workload. Teachers are passionate about what they do and ultimately, letting them ‘get on with it’ is key in maintaining a motivated and committed workforce.