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Some Florida educators are leaving their teaching jobs for new pastures

ORLANDO, Fla. — The new school year is underway in Central Florida, but experts say the outlook in classrooms could differ from years past. Many districts are still struggling with teacher vacancies in the classroom, even as children enter the classroom.


What do you want to know

  • At the start of the current school year, Orange County public school officials reported that there were about 100 teaching vacancies.

  • According to a survey by the National Education Association, 55% of teachers say they will leave the profession sooner than initially expected
  • Some teachers say they quit to look for a job in the private sector


This school year is not the first for Lindsey Zema, who has nearly a decade of teaching under her belt.

As she chooses the curriculum for her new students, she says that even if the basics of English or math don’t change, this year will be different because she won’t be returning to the crowded halls of a big school. .

“I was just a little tired of constantly trying to stay positive in a negative environment,” she said.

Instead, this year, Zema was hired by a family to homeschool their three children.

Over the summer, she landed a freelance writing job at home and decided to say goodbye to working for the Orange County Public Schools.

According to a survey by the National Education Association, 55% of teachers say they will leave the profession sooner than initially expected.

Spectrum News checked in with a few local school districts when school started. Orange County Public Schools reported having about 100 teaching vacancies at the start of the school year.

Osceola County school officials said they have about 200 teaching openings. And Seminole County officials said they are still looking to fill about 60 full-time teaching positions, as well as 24 paraprofessional jobs.

“A big part of the reason I think a lot of teachers are leaving, myself included, has to do with morale and the environment,” Zema said.

She said one of her biggest stressors was standardized test scores.

Administration officials applauded or berated teachers based on their students’ performance, but it was an unfair bar, she said, because each class had different children with different testing abilities.

She said she hopes her new job teaching from home will give her more time to do other things she loves.

“This new job means I will have a lot more time and flexibility to be able to take care of these things,” Zema said.

So her new classroom will be in a suburban house, her class size will be just three children, and while her work will still be student-centric, she says this new move will mean she’ll also be caring. of herself.

You can log on to fldoe.org/teaching/recruitment for more information on how to apply for a job application for teaching jobs across the state.

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