I know similar stories are happening all over the US.
OMAHA, Neb. —
An Omaha journalism teacher said she's one of nearly 40 teachers who plan to leave Central High School at the end of the school year.
She and a student she advises requested the data from the Omaha Public School district after hearing whispers in the hallways.
Two educators are speaking about their decisions to leave and the future of their field.
Both teachers said it was an incredibly difficult decision to make. They said they love teaching and Central, but it's time to step away.
“I always wanted to work at Central, that was kind of my dream job going into teaching,” Brian Tyrey said.
Brian Tyrey is a Latin teacher at Central High School.
He's an eagle alum and his love for the school runs deep.
But after this year, he's leaving.
"I love teaching, I love the job I love the kids I love the people involved. It’s just you know I need to watch out for myself and make sure I’m not working 10 hours a day every day,” Tyrey said.
After 7 years at the school, he said staffing shortages are leading to teachers covering classes they aren't certified in and taking on security roles. He fears education may be forced to change.
“What led up to this, this year kind of exacerbated a lot of problems that have always been there I think,” Tyrey said.
“A lack of staffing and also extending on a similar problem, lack of security has led to a lot of things where we just don’t have enough people in the halls to oversee students and make sure they’re going to their classes. I’ve personally had to teach Spanish classes which is something I’m not certified in, and I think that’s not to the benefit of my students. I think we're going to see a lot of unorthodox things go on in the coming years if we don’t solve this problem of incentivizing new teachers coming in,” Tyrey said.
He adds that pay raises are not matching the rising inflation.
A report by student journalist Jane McGill at Central uncovered that Tyrey is one of 37 teachers leaving Central this year.
Six are retiring, three are transferring to a new location and 28 are resigning.
“I don’t think anyone is doing it out of spite or anger, but, you know when you raise concerns over a period time and you don’t see things addressed really the only thing you can do is voice your concerns by leaving,” Tyrey said.
Hillary Blayney is a journalism teacher at Central. She oversaw that student's reporting and is also leaving.
She said McGill’s research shows in a standard school year, the average amount of teacher turnover is in the teens.
“It was a really, really hard decision for me to make,” Blayney said.
Blayney said OPS’s career academies and pathways plan motivated her move out of the district.
"I just think there's got to be more flexibility and in what we're being allowed to teach and what kids are allowed to take as classes. Giving teachers more autonomy over what they teach giving them different schools more autonomy. Letting principals control their buildings, I think would help a lot,” she said.
Blayney believes students will not be able to pursue multiple interests because of the program.
"I didn't think it was going to be very good for my program, which broke my heart,” she said.
Both teachers know it's not just OPS, but a nationwide shortage of teachers and burnout.
They said the decision to leave is heartbreaking and they know Central will still succeed, but they hope for change.
“It’s definitely a lot more people, obviously, twice as many people, at least than normal years. So, it's a problem. We can't ignore that it's a problem,” Blayney said.
Tyrey may be getting out of education altogether. He doesn't have a job lined up quite yet.
Blayney will take her talents to Westside.
Omaha Public Schools did not respond to a request for comment.
I do not understand. When I was in the University system in Montana the only thing each student was entitled to was the first quarter of classes. It was said that about a third of the freshman students would not make it to the Winter quarter. I was one that did not make it, I did make it to spring quarter, then summer and back to fall. Each student had to work their buts off, unless they were smart enough to make it without studying, I knew a few, geniuses, bit they could not tie their shoes.
So do students now think that if they have the money to get there that they deserve A's? If this is true then we are in for a hard time.
Sigh. I can't blame them. I have been teaching college and uni courses as an adjunct for 20 years. I still like to teach, but there has been a huge change in the attitude of the students in that 20 years. They are entitled and the schools cater to this attitude in order to keep the students. At least I don't have to put up with parents--though a few have contacted me over the years.