Teachers bid farewell to school and profession. “There was no such year.” Where will they work?

At Lycee No. 65 in Warsaw, three people have just resigned. The Polish teacher started his activity, teacher will work at the university, and a speech therapist – in a private speech therapy practice. – I know it was a difficult decision for them and they hesitated for a long time, but they decided it, I did not have bargaining cards – Małgorzata Pucułek, the school principal spreads her hands.

Plus, one more person is retiring. Besides the Polish teacher and the teacher history and present (new school subject from September instead of WOS) high school needs: mathematics, four support teachers for students with disability certificates and a psychologist – these are the shortcomings of previous years. Until recently, the director was still looking for a computer scientist, but she miraculously managed to find him. A total of eight specialists are needed and the CV drawer is empty.

I quit school and my job

For a long time, principals spent their sleep on a single question: how to recruit teachers and teach students. It started with technicians and industrial schools – already several years ago it was difficult to find specialists in professional subjects: mechanics, electronics, energy, mechatronics. You can enter any industry here. Pensioners saved the day.

Nursery schools joined technicians and industries a few years ago. Neglected by most educational structures, as non-peripheral institutions, they lost teachers who preferred, for example, to teach at school (less workload, more freedom). After the education reform abolishing colleges and the teachers’ strike in 2019, all establishments – kindergartens, primary schools, high schools and technical high schools – were faced with the problem of the departure of employees. Who could retire, a compensation benefit (the so-called early retirement), leaves for health reasons. They could not be replaced by anyone, because young people who studied physics, mathematics or foreign philology successfully found work in other industries.

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A moment later, a double year of secondary school arrived in high schools (the last year of middle school students and the first graduates of eight-year elementary schools) – the effect of education reform. Thus, many high schools and technical schools have opened a double number of classes, but the number of staff has not doubled. Pensioners were helping again, and overtime was being used to the limit. – Now 1.5 years will come to us – recalls Małgorzata Pucułek. This time it is the result of overlapping educational reforms: the raising of the school age from seven to six and the liquidation of lower secondary schools. Who will teach this year and the others?

At the end of May, the principals draw up work organization sheets for the start of the school year. And the news they receive is not optimistic. In addition to pensions, holidays and compensation, they hear more and more often – I quit school and the profession in general.

MEiN Increase for Parting Gifts

– The phenomenon of teachers leaving school, not so much for retirement or compensation, but simply to say goodbye to the profession, has been observed for some time, but this year it is exceptionally large, visible and deepened – says Magdalena Kaszulanis, spokesperson Association of Polish Teachers. He also recalls: – This process never happened at all. If the teachers said goodbye to anyone in their ranks, it was someone who was retiring.

The PNA does not collect such data, but from interviews with schools and teachers, it estimates that there are thousands of teachers who have no intention of returning to work at the school in September because they are looking for a job outside of education. Where are they going?

One of the teachers who taught in a primary school near Warsaw did postgraduate studies in speech therapy and neurologopaedy and opened a private specialist practice for children and adults. Another, who worked in a kindergarten in Silesia, entered the cosmetics industry. Since September, he has also been bringing his kindergarten friend to his home. After frostbite after the wedding industry pandemic, one of the teachers, who worked in a kindergarten in Wrocław, became an animator and takes care of children at weddings or other special events. She went to kindergarten for a few hours.

– Services, training industry – Kaszulanis continues. This is where, among others, Polish philologists. This year, they are missing even in schools, although generally these places were full. – Polish teachers have the most difficult job, the number of their tasks is huge. They prepare for final exams, have a lot of long papers to check, they are also often responsible for research clubs, school academies – lists Sylwia Blomberg, director of the 21st secondary school in Łódź, who asked almost all her friends for a while if they don’t know a Polish teacher willing to work in a high school.

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Recruitment Results for Schools

Linguists, especially with English and Spanish, are returning to travel agencies and tour operators. At least one of the directors of the Warsaw high school tells us about a Spanish teacher who went to work in a bank. A mathematician from Poznań, who taught in high school, set up her website, and she also does tutoring, so as not to lose contact with the profession.

– Mathematicians, computer scientists and chemists also successfully get jobs in industry, factories and production companies – says Kaszulanis. Therefore, he knows a technique that is looking for, for example, five mathematicians and four computer scientists, because they have such a flow of personnel. – Teachers even joke that this 4.4 percent increase. it’s about 120-160 PLN gross, which was promised by the Minister of Education Przemyslaw Czarnekthis is the money they will spend on parting gifts for their colleagues – he adds.

Why the lack of teachers? Silver and Czarnek

– Economic and financial reasons – these are the most common reasons, explains Małgorzata Dobrucka, director of primary school No. 126 in Krakow, for submitting teacher dismissals. And there’s probably no trading card for that. One person will leave school after the summer holidays and two others will leave for economic reasons. – With the current prices and the almost imperceptible increases for school staff, everyone is looking for where they can save. The two teachers who are leaving us have also found a job at the school, but closer to home. Travel costs will disappear – says Dobrucka. Therefore, he is now looking for a mathematician, a computer scientist and a guidance counselor. She might also need a supportive teacher.

The second reason for the departure of teachers and the profession in general is the atmosphere created by Minister Czarnek and the feeling of resignation. – They can no longer see the hope, the lights in the tunnel for better changes that could improve the work of schools – explains Kaszulanis.

There are also fewer and fewer administrators, even though there are three months left before September 1st. Previous lifelines, i.e. retirees and overtime, may no longer work. – Pensioners saved the situation, but they no longer want to save – admits Sylwester Kosiec, director of the Łódź car school complex. Two physicists just lost like this – they’ve had enough, they want to rest. The oldest pensioner who still works at the school is 78 years old. – Confinement, distance learning and now new Ukrainian students – all this means that pensioners do not want to undertake this difficult work and do not want to keep school lesson plans – explains Magdalena Kaszulanis. Pensioners, who still earned extra money at school, also lost a lot because of the Polish Order.

For the entire school year, High School 65 lacked math and computer science. For the young people to have these courses, the director has saved herself overtime. – Some even had 30 hours instead of 18 or 22. Now our requests, even our pleas, to take one more extra hour may not help, because these teachers are tired of pace, work and stress – explains Małgorzata Puculek. And this may not be the end of the list of staffing needs and searches, because until August 31 the principal can change the teacher’s employment conditions, but it works both ways. . The teacher can be absent at any time, be absent for health reasons or simply be absent.


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