Television’s Lisa Simpson yells at the top of her voice:“Relax? I can’t relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or . . . only two synonyms? Oh my God, I’m losing my perspicacity!” A big statement for an eight-year-old. Little wonder her parents, Homer and Marge, look at her with bewilderment in most episodes of The Simpsons.
Gabriel Baldwin, 25, is working as a waitress – and skiing – in Canada after travelling through Europe for a year. To do this she walked away from a career as a high-school teacher after just three years because she felt burnt out. Joanne O’Brien, 37, recently left just shy of a decade as a teacher because a new job opportunity was far more appealing. Kerryn Manifold, 28, gave it all up after five years because, he said, he wanted his life back. Alison Venning, 40, taught for six years and then started her own business. Angela Cullen, 31, left after seven years because she was sick of battling against what she considered an outdated curriculum.
Once upon a time, teaching was a vocation for life. You trained, you taught and you retired with a certificate of long service. Now, despite a teacher shortage, many young teachers are opting out. A recent Australian Education Union survey showed that 47 per cent of beginning teachers did not see themselves teaching in 10 years.