Teaching has become “a completely different profession” for many long-time teachers, according to listeners on Lunchtime Live.
A survey by the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland found that 75% of secondary school teachers do not think the profession is attractive anymore.
Another 75% said they had considered leaving the teaching profession.
Secondary school teachers spoke to Lunchtime Live about whether or not teaching has become more difficult in recent years.
Adrienne said she “no longer believes” in the teaching profession.
“As far as I can see it’s a completely different profession from when I first started,” she said.
Adrienne said teachers are working much harder now in larger classrooms with more students who require additional needs.
She said the housing crisis was “the last straw” for many young people entering the profession and people who have been teaching “for 10 or 15 years who are just still renting or cannot afford their own home”.
Adrienne said the cost of getting a qualification is too high for many people and newly qualified teachers do not get a lot of opportunities for permanent jobs.
“We have a scandalous situation where new teachers are just being hired on six-hour contracts for a very short number of hours,” she said.
"They might have six-hour contracts of teaching, and the rest is being filled up by substitutes.”
Adrienne said teaching experience is no longer valued.
Secondary teacher Warren said people don’t understand the “intensity” of the role.
Warren just finished a five-year secondment in the Department of Education and has returned to teaching.
“I had forgotten how draining teaching is.”
He said teachers have shorter hours than most jobs – but teaching is “constant, constant firefighting”.
“I was working nine-to-fives and nights most days [in the Department of Education],” he said, “And when I went subbing, I was on a shorter day, but I was absolutely mentally drained after.”
DEIS schoolteacher Bill said every job has issues and teachers shouldn’t act too negatively.
“If you’re not willing to sacrifice these things don’t get involved in the first place,” he said.
Bill said complaints about accommodation shortages is a problem with the housing crisis and not the teaching profession.
“When you’re blaming things and talking negatively about the work we do as teachers, I just think it’s just a bit much,” Bill said.
“It makes it seem as if we’re lazy.”
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