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Artifact #1: Teacher Satisfaction: The Perceptible Decline and

its Effect on our Students (TE 807)

Goals: 1
Standards: 3, 4
This artifact is a paper I wrote for my first post-internship class in
the MATC program, TE 807. It aimed to explore the real statistics
behind new teachers in the profession and why so many of them leave.
As I researched, I also found information about long-time teachers who
chose to leave before it was their time to retire. In this essay, I discuss
some of the main reasons teachers say they decide to leave, such as
the workload vs. the never-increasing pay scale, ever-changing
curriculums and standards, and most plainly, the teacher burnout
factor (p. 4). Finally, the true purpose beyond the statistics of teachers
who have left is what this must ultimately be doing to our students. If
there is such an extreme turnover rate in teachers, how can the skill of
good teaching ever be refined? We are simply doing a disservice to our
students, and our societys future, if we are not sticking to teaching
long enough to get better at the craft itself.
I chose to include this artifact, and list it first, because I can now
look back and see just how much this exemplifies where my mindset
was when I first began the program. At the time of my acceptance into
the MATC program, I had taught in a Michigan public middle school for
two years, and was well under the pressure of the new teacher years.
Additionally, friends of mine who also became teachers were near
miserable and one had even left to serve in a restaurant (p. 7). I was
really starting to question teaching as my profession at the time,
although Im not sure I realized just how much. This artifact matters
very much to my teaching as it marks a pretty serious turning point in
my perspective on teaching, on my future, and on my current and
future students. It is a good example of Critical Inquiry (Goal 1)
because I executed much research in an attempt to get to the bottom
of this issue. As a newer teacher who didnt feel ready to simply walk
away from it all, I wanted to further my understanding on how it could
possibly be happening everywhere, and what that might mean for me.
I believe this artifact also aligns with MATC Standards because of the
new perspective I donned to research and analyze this persistent issue.
This is an extreme topic affecting both schools and students (Standard
3). This matter and my findings caused me to be critically reflective,
and want to learn even more. This true reflection on my own practice
and what I would need to improve as I moved forward was a launching
point for me in my MATC experience (Standard 4).