I’m not a therapist, but I submit that the difficulty in recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest to the classroom has little to do with the distinction between burnout and demoralization (“Many Frustrated Teachers Say It’s Not Burnout – It’s Demoralization,” edsurge.com, Nov. 19). I say that because the net effect is the same.
When students are in college working on their bachelor’s degree, especially today with the cost of tuition so steep, they are highly attuned to news about the career they are considering after graduation. They know from their friends just a year or two ahead of them that teaching is not what they thought it would be. Idealism quickly fades, as the reality of the classroom takes hold.
Trying to make a case that burnout is different from demoralization seems to be largely a matter of degree. That’s important to keep in mind, but it does not do much to solve the problem. The military has long made troop morale a high priority. It does not try to parse the difference between burnout and demoralization.
I see little hope that today’s college graduates will choose the classroom as a lifetime career. Why should they when they can make far more money with far less stress in other fields?
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