90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Teachers Tell Us Why They've Left The Classroom

With guest host John Donvan

Three dedicated teachers walked away from jobs they loved.  We’ll ask them why.

In this file photo, Ivan Silverberg teaches his American Studies class to eighth and ninth graders at the Niles North High School in Skokie, Ill., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. (AP)

In this file photo, Ivan Silverberg teaches his American Studies class to eighth and ninth graders at the Niles North High School in Skokie, Ill., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. (AP)

We put our children in their hands. That’s how much we trust school teachers.  But do we respect them? Do we give them the support they need, and the leeway to be the best teachers they can be? A surprisingly large numbers of teachers ultimately decide the answer is no, and they quit. Up to half give up within five years. The question is, why: how is it going so wrong for a profession that rests on at least a little idealism and a lot of passion. Because we do need them.  This hour On Point:  Three teachers, and why they walked away.

– John Donvan

Guests

Suzi Sluyter, kindergarten teacher in a Medford, MA private school. Former public school teacher.

Andrea Thibodeaux, former Louisiana Public School teacher.

Amanda Machado, former Teach for America teacher in California. Contributing writer at the Atlantic magazine. (@amandaemachado0)

Madeline Isaacson, incoming first-year first grade teacher at a public school in Washington state.

From The Reading List

The Atlantic: Why Teachers of Color Quit — “I joined the Bay Area corps after graduating Brown in 2010 and taught ninth-grade English at a charter school outside Oakland. Yet after finishing my two-year commitment, I realized that though my background may have brought me to teaching in the first place, it now had become one of the factors that drove me to quit the profession.”

National Education Association: Why They Leave — “Nationally, the average turnover for all teachers is 17 percent, and in urban school districts specifically, the number jumps to 20 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future proffers starker numbers, estimating that one-third of all new teachers leave after three years, and 46 percent are gone within five years.”

Washington Post: ‘I have had enough’ – veteran teacher tells school board — “Teachers are not the bad guys here. You tell society that we have three months off in the summer and get off at 3:30 in the afternoon. Well, I can tell you for a fact that we work at least 10 months a year. What about all the teachers that either get to school early or stay late? We give up a lot of time for our school children- sometimes our students are getting more time than our families. What about all of us who still after 25 or more years, are working all day and then are working more hours at night?”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Rage, shortlinks and things you people seem to be into, we guess. Also, Putin.

More »
Comment
 
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment