Why is there is a shortage of teachers?
Yes, teachers are deterring those who are thinking of being teachers and are contributing to the shortage.
Some teachers are not great adverts for teaching and make lousy recruitment ambassadors.
The problems teaching has faced and continues to face are huge from workload and accountability to performance and micromanagement. The system is impersonal and we can all feel helpless and stressed but ‘teachers as victims’ has to stop.
A key feature of teaching over the years has been the growth of the victim mentality. Some teachers are full-time victims and emotional terrorists pounding a treadmill of negativity and vomit vexing messages about teaching. Their negative experiences and skewed interpretations have been allowed to dominate and the martyr narrative has swallowed the profession.
Nothing is right with their class. Nothing is right with their school. Nothing is right with ‘the system’. They are cynical, grumbling and complain pretty much all the time feeling constantly oppressed and enjoy throwing themselves on the fire.
There will always be something to moan about but the proliferation of outraged teachers who rebel against their own profession is astounding. Teachers as ‘victims’ are a consistent drain on the school environment and teaching as a whole because they leave toxic trails everywhere they go.
There is nothing wrong with a good old moan and groan – its healthy. But venting your spleen on social media every five minutes is hardly professional and it is definitely not good for the profession. It’s little wonder people are being put off teaching.
Yes, the system is damaged and broken and yes many teachers are exhausted, overworked and overwhelmed. But why be a victim?
No one is born with a victim mindset – people choose to have it. This is a self-imposed and acquired personality trait that becomes an identity even within broken systems. It’s not difficult to spot someone who has the victim mentality because they are vocal, generally defensive, overreact to daily obstacles and self-absorbed. They might behave helplessly and they can frequently try to elicit sympathy and pity. They are also toxic.
We don’t need that.
You can take the system on and fight your corner but playing the victim leads to a sense of entitlement, and to narcissistic or selfish behavior.
Teachers can do themselves a favour and not add to their burden and pressures by dropping the attitude.
A ‘them and us’ mentality or ‘woe-is-me’ way of thinking is stinking thinking. This negative disposition and attitude becomes the strategy of first-choice for some and it drags them down and everyone else around them.
How can teachers assume the responsibility for teaching resilience and mental health when they are struggling to stay afloat? We don’t need victims, we need fighters within a framework of sustainable compassion, mutual respect and support.
Lots of teachers love their jobs – let’s hear from them for a change and let them control the narrative. Maybe that way we won’t be scaring off the rich potential that is out there. People might actually want to become a teacher and be proud to be associated with the profession.