Special effort to help new teachers thrive in the job

Nicole Calnan
Membership and Training Officer

Research points out risk factors for remaining in teaching

Few other professions have the same expectations placed on them in their first years of service as teachers new to their profession.

Teaching is an increasingly challenging career and to ensure early career teachers survive and thrive in their early years, research such as “Start Well: A research project supporting resilience and wellbeing in early career teachers” from the Hunter Institute of Mental Health is one approach to be considered.

In late 2016, a total of 453 early career teachers from across NSW responded to the Start Well survey conducted by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health.

The research comments on risk factors:

  • early career teachers who reported not having a good work-life balance were 60 per cent less likely to plan for staying in teaching in the long term
  • more than half the surveyed sample had previously considered leaving teaching
  • time pressure and workload were significant themes throughout the survey; most teachers did not feel they had enough time for collaboration or planning, preparation and assessment
  • levels of social support were important for predicting responses regarding planned attrition.

Through Federation's various courses, conferences and other forums the union has contact with thousands of teachers each year.

Federation Officers hear firsthand of the many challenges facing teachers today.

Increasing workload pressures, time management, work-life balance, housing affordability, security in employment and dealing with challenging behaviours are some of the common challenges discussed in these forums.

The forthcoming Annual Conference will consider a number of recommendations that aim to address some of the issues raised in this article.

To read the full report of the Hunter Institute of Mental Health’s Start Well project results, visit their website.

Click here to download PDF.