Why Teachers Leave Teaching

Published October 1, 1997

Two key reasons for leaving the teaching profession were cited by public school teachers in the 1994-95 school year: retirement (27.4 percent) and pregnancy/child rearing (14.3 percent). For private school teachers, the two main reasons for leaving were to pursue another career (16.3 percent) and for a family or personal move (16.2 percent).

Among public school teachers who left between 1993-94 and 1994-95 and cited dissatisfaction with teaching as a career, student discipline (17.9 percent) and poor student motivation to learn (17.6 percent) were cited as the most common reasons they left the teaching profession. On the other hand, private school teachers leaving under comparable conditions cited lack of support from the administration (30.2 percent) and poor opportunity for professional advancement (14.6 percent) as the main reasons they left.

These and other statistics are reported in Characteristics of Stayers, Movers, and Leavers: Results from the Teacher Follow-up Survey: 1994-95, published on June 28 by the National Center for Education Statistics. Highlights of the report are available on the Internet at http://www.ed.gov/NCES/pubs97/97450-0.html.