Category Archives: teacher flight

Teacher Exodus Update

I am really excited to share some more results from my study of the teachers who have left Oklahoma.   I am still analyzing some of the open ended responses but I have analyzed enough of the results that I feel confident sharing some of the results with you as I continue to add depth to the study and its results.   Normally in research, we would not be able to share results within the a month of starting a study – however this is such a current problem, and we need to be talking about what I am learning from this study.

To remind you, my research questions were:
Why are teachers leaving Oklahoma?
What is the cost to Oklahoma by this exodus?
What must change for teachers to return?

For each graphic, I am embedding the graphic from Pictochart so that you can click on the graphic and see the data and interact with it. If the format of the blog is too hard to do this, I have included a link that will open in a new window.

Method of the study

What OK loses by teachers leaving

Why are teachers leaving? 

Hope for the future

So after looking at all this, what are my thoughts as a researcher related to the Oklahoma teacher exodus crisis?

1)Most of the teachers left recently, they miss their families and 31% would be willing to return.

2) The problems they are talking about make sense – They are not making enough money as teachers to pay down their student loans, have a reliable car, and achieve benchmarks of success like buying a home.

3) It is about more than money. Teachers want to feel respected and valued as part of their communities. Their community is their local community but also their state as a whole.   They are committed to building their communities and they want to feel supported by them.

4) Teachers are important members of our communities.  We need them in our communities as members of neighborhoods and institutions.  We need to create an environment where they can be afford to part of them.

5) More than 50% of teachers who left had degrees beyond their bachelors. These were highly trained teachers. Replacing them with emergency certified teachers is not an equivalent trade.

6) Here’s the big one: if we think that we are feeling the effect of this teacher exodus phenomenon right now.. just wait.  If we don’t fix it quickly, 5 years from now, we will see the effects in the education of level of our next generation.  This will affect our economy, and our future as a state.   THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW!!!

 

Feel free to browse my most updated map with Salary Differences.  Each marker is set to the new city and titled with the Oklahoma City if available salary difference is shared

 

The Time is Now!

So teachers in Oklahoma and I never thought I would see the day and I am excited for them.

Much of it is being done on facebook in a group called the Time is Now https://www.facebook.com/groups/257970398074287/

The time is now logo
Time is now Logo

Right now it is still at a talking stage but districts are pledging to support teachers.

Oklahoma teachers are some of the best educators I have ever met, in the face of disrespect they use their creativity and their sweat and tears to be there for our kids and they deserve to make a living wage.

I hope that this works out, and I hope that our legislators listen.

I am still thinking of how I can best support #Oklaed, I welcome your suggestions!  here or on Twitter @DrTerriC

Should Oklahoma Teachers Strike?

You know about a year ago, someone on facebook reached out to me through a teacher group and told me about his plans to plan a strike. I discouraged him, I said you have an advocate in the state department, there is good will, lets see if they legislature delivers.  They did not strike.. I should mention that this person is no longer a teacher, they left the profession.

So now after several failed attempts a teacher raise – including the 1 cent sales text with President Boren, the Step Up Plan,  and suggestions by Joy Hofmeister in her OKSDE budget plans – I am left reflecting on if now is the time?

I see the teachers in West Virginia protesting and walking out – because they are making much more than Oklahoma and its still not enough..  and I see them on the news, and I know their legislature is getting the message.

Tonight I spent time watching the public hearing at Bartlesville as to whether they should support a teacher strike.. I was moved by the community that supported their teachers and how it was not teachers talking, it was students, business owners, and grandparents.

As I know from my study on teachers leaving, it is a hard choice for them.. but I worry that it is almost too late for your students in Oklahoma.  If another wave of qualified teachers leave, what will our classrooms look like.. 35 students, 40 students,  standing room only?  Or will we have to stop viewing teaching as a profession all together and just make sure someone is in each room?  What will the solution be?

I feel as though my perspective has changed from a year ago.  I think if teachers strike it will be justified and the only people to blame is all of us for not holding our elected officials accountable much earlier.

the whole thing makes me incredibly sad.. I know how important teachers are to our communities, to our social fabric, and most importantly to our children.

Have we crossed a line of no return?

A new Approach to a Research Poster

So on Thursday, I am presenting at the Rocky Mountain Educational Research Association Annual Meeting in Lawton and I am presenting my work as a poster on the Teacher Flight Project.

So I will be honest, when I heard I got a poster, I swore a little and thought, dang it now i have to make a poster. And on conferences where I need to fly, I often leave them at the site and after all that work only a few people see them.

I am trying something new, for this conference, I made a series of 4 Infographics using Pictochart. This an interactive infographic maker that will allow users to interact with my data.

Why did I try this new approach? 

Since i am studying teachers leaving Oklahoma and I recruited through social media, I want to share my results in these same venues. I also want to create ways to share the research with leaders in our state.  Infographics are the way to do that. Also the data is more interesting, if you can interact with it, rather than a static image – so the Piktochart graphics allow me to do that.  I can also print out the graphics and place them on the poster board like any other poster.

I think this is the best of both worlds, so I will be able to share my results at the conference and with a wider audience through social media.

I will be sharing my graphics as I present on Thursday so please come back to it. The direct link will be http://bit.ly/okteachers  but it will be on this blog.

Looking forward to interacting with you and the conference attendees later this week.