I’ve been lucky to have known a lot of teachers in my life. My father was an elementary school teacher. Many of my friends have been and still are teachers. While I’ve never been a teacher myself, I’ve had a pretty good glimpse into what it takes to be an effective educator. Their workdays can start hours before kids come to class, and can last late into the night as they grade papers and create lesson plans. Those summer breaks can be quickly filled by planning for the next school year. Teachers often have to buy their own school supplies, act as mental health counselors, face the wrath of parents who see them as glorified babysitters, and must deal with dangerous situations such as active shooters. Outside the classroom, lawmakers seeking a foothold in culture wars and communities that fail to pass levies make teachers’ lives even more difficult.
It’s no surprise that, in the wake of the pandemic, so many teachers are leaving the education system. A new Enquirer report found that Ohio educator resignations have nearly quadrupled between 2019 and 2021. Kentucky is also facing dire educator shortages. With so many challenges facing our education system today, good teachers are needed more than ever. It’s a shame there are so few incentives to step into a classroom.
Kevin Necessary is an illustrator and editorial cartoonist. His editorial cartoons appear Sundays in The Enquirer.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: It’s Necessary: No surprise teachers are leaving the education system