Green Apple Pod is a documentary-style #edpolicy podcast with each season focusing on a major issue in education policy. For the first season, we’re tackling teacher attrition. With a diverse cast of researchers, school leaders, and teachers, Green Apple Pod delves into why we lose teachers, and what we can do to keep them.
From finances to mental health to ”other duties as assigned,” each issue is examined through stories of recent former teachers and experts in the field, followed up by hopeful solutions across the nation to stem the tides of teachers leaving the classroom.
COVID & Teacher Attrition
COVID-19 has devastated our education system, but is it really pushing that many more teachers out of the classroom, or just shining a light on a pre-existing problem?
An Ed Research Primer
We've all heard that statistic that almost half of all teachers leave the classroom within five years of starting their careers, but let's dig deeper. Which teachers are more likely to leave - teachers in wealthy schools or low-income schools? White teachers or teachers of color? Would paying them more keep them in the classroom? These are just a few of the questions we answer on the second episode of Green Apple Pod, The Teacher Attrition Vortex.
Featuring interviews with Dr. Kaitlin Anderson of Lehigh University and Dr. Rob Connor of Christina Seix Academy, the second episode of our series primes you for conversations to come about how money, stress, and "extra duties as assigned" push teachers out of our K-12 classrooms.
Teacher Mobility, School Segregation, and Pay-Based Policies to Level the Playing Field, referenced by Dr. Kaitlin Anderson.
Examining Teacher Turnover, Past and Present, dissertation written by Dr. Rob Connor.
Outcome Not Income
We’ve talked about the research and we’ve talked about what it looks like for school leaders. Now, let’s break down the most common argument in the teacher shortage: pay. Flipping the old argument of “outcome not income” on its head, the fourth episode of Green Apple Pod examines instances where there clearly wasn’t enough pay, when pay wasn’t enough, and the “scarcity mindset” we all need to abandon if we’re going to ebb the flow of the teacher shortage.
Oklahoma Department of Education source on teacher attrition.
Opportunity Culture implementation by Public Impact.
Want to learn more about our guests?
Here's Shawn Sheehan's blog.
Here's Erica Jordan-Thomas's website.
Fake It Til You Make It
Teaching is consistently ranked as one of the most stressful jobs in America, but how much is stress related to burnout and teacher attrition? On this episode of Green Apple Pod, we dive into how stress and emotional burnout contribute to teachers exiting the classroom. From a lack of support to complete compassion fatigue, the teachers in this week's episode get vulnerable about their time in the classroom, what made them leave, and what they hope will change in the future.
Trigger Warning: This episode includes conversations around anxiety, abuse, and suicide. Listener discretion is advised.
Teacher Stress, Part 2
In the second half of our two-part episode on teacher stress and burnout, Green Apple Pod examines serious examples of stress and trauma that, unfortunately, are becoming less uncommon for teachers across the country. The episode ends with an interview from UCONN researcher Dr. Lisa Sanetti with a discussion around the impact of teacher stress, secondary trauma, and what we can do to alleviate it so that we lose fewer teachers to burnout.
Trigger warning for sexual assault, sexual harassment and cyberbullying beginning at the 19:15 mark.
The American Psychological Association's survey on teacher assault.
EdWeek's preliminary investigation into sexual assault and harassment of teachers.
The Journal of School Violence's 2020 article on teacher assault.
Extra Duties as Assigned
We've talked money and we've talked stress, but what about the day-in, day-out grind of teaching? The loneliness in rural schools, the frustration of difficulties moving upward, and the difficulties of politics that put the best interest of students in the middle?
The first part of our two-part episode on leadership and school culture is out now. Featuring interviews from two former teachers, "Extra Duties as Assigned" examines some of the smaller things that build up over time, and which may drive teachers out of the classroom.
Thoughtful & Necessary
Love that this series is shedding light on the U.S. teacher attrition crisis in such a well-balanced and digestible way. Each episode presents a slightly different take on the myriad challenges that school communities face. A great listen for folks in the trenches of k-12 public education or those interested in improving school conditions for all stakeholders.
This is a great listen for those who really want to understand what’s going on in teacher attrition. Listening to the stats and stories will break your heart, but it also points is in the direction of how to tackle this issue! Well done!
As a teacher, there are so many areas we struggle with that the public may never know about. Thank you for giving those things not only a voice and a platform but a deep dive into the reasons why they are happening. This is an amazing podcast, I can’t wait to hear the future episodes!