Independent School Teacher Turnover?

Has anyone else who sends their children to private school experienced a huge amount of administrative changes/teacher turnover in the last few years?

We send our kids to 2 highly regarded, well-established independent schools in the East Bay, and I feel like they are falling apart at the seams. I've been an educator for 20 years and I've never seen teacher attrition like this. Covid has obviously been a very hard time for everyone-- parents, students, teachers, and administrators. It is understandable but also so disruptive and disappointing. Leadership seems stressed and stretched, teachers seem unhappy and unsupported, and they are leaving our schools in much larger than usual numbers.

I guess my question is, is it worth looking into different schools? Or is this an issue that everyone is facing? Is there anyone out there with K-8th aged kids who feels like their school faculty and administration are really solid?

Thanks :)

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I’ve been a teacher for over 20 years and I have never seen anything like this year. I will tell you that we are completely unprepared for the massive teacher shortage of next year, worse than even during distance-learning. 

in addition remember that private school teachers make less money than public school teachers who already don’t really make enough to leave live on and many many teachers are going into different fields. I don’t think you’re going to find anything better until we get education reform somehow and much much higher salaries. 

It's an industry-wide challenge, and is exacerbated in the Bay Area given the number of educators whose partners work in other fields that have gone to remote work models so no longer need to be physically located in such a high cost area. I don't think you'll find a huge difference at other schools over time (and certainly not at public schools, which are really struggling with this). I do think our independent K-8 saw more attrition this year because people who had planned to leave last year held off for a year waiting out COVID, so we ended up with more than the typical number of departures. Many of those leaving are leaving teaching or leaving the Bay Area, though, which I think is very telling. Our school has lost many families for the same reason--life changes post-COVID have taken them out of the region. I've been happy with our school leadership, but the leaders are on the newer side so I have no idea if that contributed to any of the staff transitions. It's certainly the case that there are so many vacancies everywhere that teachers have choice in which schools they want to be at, so I'm sure there is some lateral movement too. Hoping next year will be a more stable year for education across the board!

I feel like we are seeing turnover everywhere, not just independent schools. My child's preschool had the same teachers for 15+ years pre-pandemic and now only one long term teacher remains, they can't get more, and its one of the most well established and competitive waged schools around. I work in healthcare and the turnover is constant, we are losing admins, support staff, nurses and doctors monthly. My older  child goes to a independent school in Berkeley that has had more  teacher turnover than I was expecting or would like but recently hired some incredible new teachers who i think will be great, the leadership is remaining and very dedicated and I think all of us families remaining are so excited about the future of our school. I also think there is increased turnover everywhere in terms of student enrollment and it seems a lot of families are still in search of a school that feels right for them. I know how hard uncertainty is but I also think its important to see how our kids are doing; my child is thriving in their school, my anxiety about changes or turnover has abated a lot when i just stopped and saw what an incredible experience my child has been having and kept me looking forward to next year. Feel free to reach out if you are looking elsewhere since I know naming actual schools doesn't really make sense in this posting.

I think teacher turnover is a part of the larger trends. Many people are moving. Schools aren't immune to the Great Reshuffling that's happening. We're quite content with our small private school in Oakland but have been sad to see many families move to different states / countries and to learn that several teachers won't return next year. Most of the departures we have seen at our school are related to moving away or career change. I'm told that most of the teachers who are leaving our school are not leaving to teach at a different private school in the area but rather they're moving out of state or to different regions of CA or have chosen a different career path. I find our school's administrative and leadership team to be very strong, reliable, responsive, and solid. Teachers are stressed and exhausted, as we all are. In winter, they endured speaking more loudly than normal due to masking while also being cold due to windows being open for ventilation. They braved through multiple surges and kids being out sick due to Covid, being afraid that they might get Covid, or getting Covid themselves. However, teachers at our school seem supported and appreciated. I never get a sense that teachers are disgruntled on the job. Administration is stretched thin. I can't imagine how difficult it is to manage and run a school during the pandemic -- heightened anxiety, fear of getting sick, people being out and having to scramble to find support or fill in for teachers, differing and competing priorities and demands from teachers, students, and families...... Despite all of the challenges, I think our school's Head, the Board, support staff and teachers have done as best as they could and I feel that families are going above and beyond to show appreciation.  We did not see any teacher leaving in the middle of school year. We have been notified that several teachers are leaving which is disappointing but they are moving to areas that are more affordable or are following their significant others who got a job far away. It's disruptive and sad to see so many people leaving the Bay Area.