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Monday May 27, 2024

Why are Aussie teachers quitting their jobs?

In Australia, TikTok is flooded with videos from ex-teachers in their twenties sharing why they left the job, using hashtag #TeacherQuitTok

By Web Desk
May 14, 2024
A teacher expressing her burnout in her job. — TikTok/Caitlin Berry
A teacher expressing her burnout in her job. — TikTok/Caitlin Berry

In Australia, videos from teachers are trending as they are openly discussing their burnout and frustration with parents. 

Videos show that Aussie teachers are quitting their jobs. 

TikTok is flooded with videos from ex-teachers in their twenties sharing why they left the job, using the hashtag #TeacherQuitTok. The trend is feared to push away the younger generation from the profession of teaching.

Similar hashtags like #TeacherBurnout highlight issues they face, including constant contact from parents, career challenges, and a lack of respect from the school and the public. They talk about the relentless pressure of handling over 30 students, some with behavioural issues.

The worst part is the pressure from parents who want their child to be the smartest and receive the most attention, teachers spoke in the trending videos. This, coupled with the emotional drain of managing different personalities and situations, has led to a high burnout rate.

A former teacher described the job as "emotionally draining." Another complained of "never-ending" responsibilities. The 24/7 access demanded by parents also adds significant stress.

This trend is not just confined to Australia. Teachers from Britain and America have also shared videos of themselves breaking down in class or the staff room.

There are widespread concerns about the impact of these videos. University of Newcastle associate professor Rachel Buchanan, who has been researching 'QuitTok', expressed concern that these videos could give a false impression that all teachers are quitting. "On TikTok, it feels inescapable that everyone's quitting, and it can warp your perception of what's really happening," she said.

Viral content can also discourage potential teachers. Teneal Broccardo, a 29-year-old aspiring primary school teacher, admitted that the content made her question her career choice.

A 2022 study by Monash University found that only three in ten teachers planned to stay in the profession long-term. In response, state governments are trying to retain educators with measures such as pay raises, more permanent contracts, and a ban on mobile phones in the classroom.