Over the past couple of years, many teachers have come to me, saying, “I want to do what you do.” At first, I wasn’t sure how to respond to this, but as I processed it more, I saw it as an incredible opportunity to grow the work in ways that also align with my mission to support schools and make education a better place for all.
Today, I am excited to announce that we are launching a national coaching network which provides an innovative and groundbreaking way to address some of the most critical issues facing education: teacher attrition, shortages, and a lack of enough support in the classroom to keep up with the complicated and ever-changing landscape.
Recent reports have shown an alarming rate of teachers leaving the profession every year – 8% to be exact. NPR writer Eric Westervelt calls the education system a “…leaky bucket, losing hundreds of thousands of teachers each year — the majority of them before retirement age.” This is a huge portion of education’s brain trust walking out the door, and no one has been able to figure out how to stop the bleeding.
Many of the teachers who have left will tell you how much they love kids, and how they’ve always wanted to be teachers, but just can’t stay in the face of how education looks today. A quick web search reveals articles and research reports galore echoing a common plea: we need to create a solution, because this is just the beginning of an issue which is going to get worse before it gets better.
What if we could offer these passionate educators with years of experience and wisdom a way to support teachers and kids from a different angle? That’s exactly what I thought when I founded Future Development Group, and nearly two years in, I can say proudly, and with a huge smile, that IT’S WORKING!
After years in the system working to innovate and support, the constraints and mandates made it clear I would never be able to offer the kind of support I knew was needed. From that vantage point, it just wasn’t going to happen, and it turns out, leaving was the best thing I could have ever done – for myself and the teachers and school leaders who have become like extended family to me. This partnership between education and industry has given us the ability to boldly and successfully innovate inside the school system, while also giving me the freedom I need to do the work I was meant to do. We hear all the time about education-industry partnerships and this is a beautiful example of that concept in action. Now, I’m not saying I think more teachers should leave, I’m offering a way to remain involved and engaged for those who’ve left, or are seriously thinking of doing so.
In the coming months, we will be opening up opportunities for skilled teachers to join us in supporting classrooms across the nation, become their own boss, and work in education on terms that honor what they have to offer. This is by no means a fix-all solution to the critical issues noted above, but it is absolutely a huge step in the right direction.
If you are looking for ways to make a difference through coaching and support in classrooms, have at least five years experience as a teacher or supporting teachers, and are ready to move your work forward in a fresh and exciting way, let us know here. We’ll add you to the list to be notified first as we continue to launch this program.