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Teacher exodus, the media, and school culture – with Adam Voigt

Teacher exodus, the media, and school culture – with Adam Voigt

What do the Great Teacher Exodus, the media, and school culture have in common? Much more than you might first think…

Adam Voigt from Real Schools shares:

  • the real reasons teachers are quitting in droves (Hint: COVID isn’t actually the thing to blame)
  • the impact that the media has and how we can proactively combat the regular teacher-bashing articles
  • the importance of school culture, what that actually means, and what you can do

This episode is jam packed with wisdom, actionable tips, and nod-along insights. This is an episode you don’t want to miss!

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Show Notes

You can find Real Schools here on their website – make sure you sign up to their weekly newsletter, which is short and sharp and to the point. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Adam Voigt can be found on LinkedIn.


Emily: Hey everybody. This week I am joined by Adam Voigt, who is the founder and CEO of Real Schools. If you are active as a teacher on LinkedIn in particular, you’ve probably come across him. He’s a bit of a thought leader in our educational sphere, particularly to do with leadership and school culture.

So I saw a video from him quite a few months back now that I’m sure a lot of you will remember where he was talking about the work that teachers were doing through the pandemic and how hard we’re working and how, you know, the public isn’t necessarily respectful of that. That video did go viral, and I saw it floating around quite a few of the online Facebook teaching groups.

So I’ve asked Adam to join us today to talk about, the real reasons why teachers are leaving, the impact of covid. We talk a bit about the impact that the media has and how we can actually combat that. And we also talk about what actually is their school culture and how can we nurture those within our schools?

Of course, as always, we’ll pop the links to social media, websites, all that sort of stuff in the show notes, and I hope you find a lot of value out of this week’s episode I certainly did, and it is a bumper episode, so strap yourself in and get ready.

All right, welcome Adam. How are you today?

Adam: I’m really well, Emily. Thanks for having me.

Emily: Excellent. Would you mind giving us a little bit of a rundown of your background? How did you get from sort of where you started in the education?

Were you a classroom teacher? Did you start there, and then how did you get all the way to where you are now?

Adam: Yeah, so I, I definitely did start as a classroom teacher. I did my first year on an Aboriginal community, actually about 400 K north of Alice Springs, called Ang. Then found myself in government special education for a few years working with kids with significant behavioral issues and mild intellectual disabilities.

Then found myself in primary teaching, teaching mostly upper primary. Then found myself in sort of some school leadership positions that were in both primary and secondary environments. Then found myself as an assistant principal up in the Northern Territory. Again, my wife and I, and I. To the territory to do something different for a year or two in Darwin, and then stayed for nine and, um, Yep.

Emily: As you do

Adam: That’s right. It gets under your skin. And did both of my principalships in Darwin, which was fabulous. And then a fraction over 10 years ago now, moved on from the principal role into, founding Real Schools and been working on that through that, with that, with, yeah, dozens of Australian schools now, for a long time.

It feels exhausting when I say it like that, but, it’s been a really lovely ride. I, I love working in education and always will.

Emily: Oh, there’s nothing like it is there.

Adam: No. When they tell you that no two days are the same, they, they mean it

Emily: Yep. I think that for me, that’s part of what’s, you know, kept me sort of in the profession is that it’s just that novelty.

Adam: That’s right.

Emily: The creativity.

Adam: Yeah. The joy and the horror, isn’t it? Yeah. the unexpected. Definitely.


Emily: So you’ve obviously, you’ve been around a bit, you’ve seen a lot of different aspects of education.

Yeah. The sort of story from the staff room, and this has been going on obviously for a few years now, is that covid has sort of been the, the nail in the coffin for a lot of people wanting to leave the profession. And we saw through the lockdowns and all of the restrictions, a lot of people went, you know, hands up, This is it. I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. And from an outsider perspective, it sort of seems like covid is the reason why people left. But then from within the system, we obviously know that it’s far more than that. This was just sort of one more extra pressure on top that was, that just made it for a lot of people that went, No, this is too much now.

So from your perspective and what you are seeing in your role now working with so many schools and leaders, what are the things that are actually contributing besides Covid? Yeah. That are causing people to walk out the door.

Adam: Yeah, it’s fascinating, isn’t it? If it wasn’t so sort of, you know, hard at the same time that what I think I’ve seen is, that what Covid has done is kind of poked a bruise in the preexisting conditions for why people were struggling in teaching in the first place.

So, The research and most of what the literature we’re having emerging sort of pre and post you around, and I’m not sure we’re quite post pandemic, but we’re, whatever it is we find ourselves in right now, is that the, the top contributors to teacher stress and burnout are still in place. So the hierarchy hasn’t changed.

And the top three tend to be student behavior. So, student conduct and trying to engage students in their learning, trying to build effective relationships, trying to run cohesive learning experiences for kids was hard before the pandemic and it got harder. So many schools are telling me that the kids are different, the resilience levels are lower, they’re more competitive.

One teacher told me it’s a bit like Lord of the Flies out there at the moment. It’s just they’re so busy, competing with each other for social status that their interest in learning cohesively and cooperatively in the classrooms low. And I think that’s gotten, made it hard, got harder for teachers.


The second factor is clearly workload. Yeah. I think that there’s two types of workload. There’s workload that is close to purpose, and then there’s workload that’s far from purpose. So I think what we’ve not adjusted very well to at all is being able to reduce the latter and perhaps even find room for the former.

So I think to just going home stressed about the fact that just what they did that day wasn’t the reason they got into the job. It’s not that they had to work hard. Teaching’s taxing because it’s worth. You know, but it’s the amount of work that people are doing on stuff that really has no relevance.

Emily: The core of the job.

Adam: And the third issue that causes people stress is issues with parents. We need to work desperately hard on rebuilding trust. And when we think about trust, when we think about how we can improve the relationship between home and school, I’m often keen to point out that yes, the trust broke down, but it wasn’t broken down by parents or by schools.

This is a media driven phenomena. By a media that knows that we’re far more interested in seeing a car crash than we are, and seeing people getting along well on the freeway. So they’re gonna highlight everything that is a point of conflict between schools and what schools are gonna have to do to counteract that is step into repositioning themselves as educational experts.

Yeah. So they start telling the world, not who won Student of the Week last week, but how it was that you were able to improve student learning outcomes and how it was that you were able to improve social outcomes and grow decent citizens out of these kids, with such expertise in such difficult times. Because that will give parents the impression that we can be trusted with that job.

Emily: It’s a bit of a, a marketing push almost.

Adam: It really is. We’ve got a broadcasting imperative on our hands. We need to tell people how amazing we are. You go to a doctor’s surgery and you sit in a doctor’s surgery and you see their qualifications and it’s their way of saying you can trust the person you’re about to talk to.

Emily: And even on their websites, you have all the patient testimonials.

Adam: Of course you do. Yeah. We need to, It’s almost like, you know, hands up. We need to give everyone the impression that it’s all good. We’ve got this, We are the experts. You can trust us. You don’t need to question every decision.

You know, we’ve got this in hand. So I think that’s all three of those areas have gotten harder and we need to create some room for people to focus on them.

Emily: Yeah. Excellent. And, and on that note of the media, there was an article that came out in the week that we are recording this. It was by the abc, I’m sure you’ve probably seen it.

And was talking about how teachers are turning to YouTube as a teaching thing. And the, the sort of implication behind the article, which really surprised me coming from the ABC, was that teachers are using YouTube instead of teaching.

Adam: Yeah.

Emily: And I think, you know, that sort of article out there, like I couldn’t even go to the comments section.

There are, you know, it’s obviously done, did the rounds in the, the Facebook groups and there were a lot of teachers saying, Don’t read the comments. Don’t read the comments.

Adam: Yeah.

Emily: Because it gives the impression to the public. We aren’t doing our job, we can’t be bothered.

Adam: Yeah

Emily: And I think that sort of message that’s coming out, especially by a media group like the abc, that’s so powerful and so trusted. It really doesn’t help. Our plight .

Adam: No, that’s right. It feeds into a public narrative that teacher bashings cool. And so what we need to do is to, like I said, it’s, it’s not gonna become uncool while we don’t counteract that kind of story with a story about how brilliantly we are using technology in a way that has young people engage with it for purposes up and Xbox, you know? That only gets counteracted by high levels of expertise and skill that our teachers do have. But what we’re not doing is showing people that skill. We’re not showing them the brilliance and the outcomes that are achieved. We’re not showing them the cost of not doing the work that we are doing in our schools.

So we, we need to, rather than shy away from the media and like, you know, is that I find myself in the middle of that and I know when they’re gonna ring. I know when a story just like that shows up, you know? We actually need to step into that space. Yeah. Not be angry about it. That’ll get us nowhere.

Yeah. We need into that space and change the narrative by speaking to our expertise.

Emily: Which I think is hard too. I know we’re going a bit sidetracked here, but it’s a bit hard. As a Queensland teacher myself, you know, there are limitations within our code of conduct. About actually speaking to the media.

Yeah. So I, I couldn’t actually go to, You know, even nine MSN and say, Hey, here’s the real story. Yeah. We can’t.

Adam: At the same time though, we have channels available to us. So we still have a direct line between us and our own parent community. So instead of sending them a newsletter that has principles report at the top of it, because I dunno about you, how often have you ever read principal’s report and thought, Now I like to read on. So what we want to do is give, Hit him with a headline, hit hit him with something that looks like Tracy Grimshaw wrote it, you know, that says, Our school has increased its year five writing results by 15 points. Here’s how we did it.

Our school has reduced its suspensions by 30%. Here’s how we did it. Yeah. And start to tell people how we work and what the results of that work are. Because when they are results and when they are using strategies, the people at home sometimes don’t even understand. What, Who do you go to if you don’t understand how they did it?

That’s us. Here we are. Yeah. Where to explain it to you. You know? And that elevates our, our expertise and it increases the trust that parents can have for us. If all they’re getting is a message that teachers are just using YouTube so they can sit back and drink coffee.

And we don’t counteract that message with how amazing. And of course they’re gonna believe channels we’ve got, Sure. We can’t get on Channel nine, but we can get in the, in the app that’s gonna ping on their phone that there’s a message from the school. And that message doesn’t need to be, Hey, remember to bring your togs tomorrow or you can’t swim.

We can talk about how awesome we are. Yeah.

Emily: Yeah. So I guess bringing this back to the original question of why teachers are leaving, there is a sort a bit of mitigations that schools can do themselves in raising the public profile of their teachers, which is then gonna flow back to the teachers as feeling appreciated and, feeling like the expert instead of feeling a bit negative about everything because of they only see what’s in the media.

Adam: Yep. And I, and I do get it, I do get that schools, are are busy. I do get that people are tired. I do get that the operational imperative of running a school is taxing, you know? But if we can say within the scope that we’ve got, how is it that we elevate these professionals that are in our school?

How is it that we built, We are putting a message out there that says these people are incredible. You know, and they are, we’re not making it up. You know, what they did when lockdowns, you know, like, I’m a Victorian, so well, I got to watch what, what happened, , And it was hideous what people were dealing with.

But what they did was amazing. You know, I got to watch a, a year three, writing lesson of a teacher who took her iPad out into the backyard and introduced her new puppy to her entire class and got all of them to write a narrative about what would happen if Clyde the puppy got out. And what would he be?

And it was brilliant, you know? And, we just don’t share that enough. And when teachers see that rather than, Oh, they’re using, they must be using their iPad to show the kid YouTube clips. And they go, All we must be doing is is going Kane Academy in Eddie Woo. You know? We can actually, you know, get that message out there that, these people do a great job and they’re indispensable.

Emily: So I guess leading on from that, you do a lot of work with school culture, so could you define for me what is school culture and how is it different or not different to staff wellbeing?

Adam: It’s so funny. I, I get the chance to, like, I, I’ll speak to a room full of principals at a conference and I’ll say, Put your hand up if you think that the culture of your school’s important and everyone does.

Then I say, Keep your hand up because what I wanna do is select one of you in a moment to come out the front and tell everyone what school culture is. And all the hands go down, , all the hands go down . So, which is funny, but it also leaves us at an interesting point. If everyone says the culture of our school is important, but we dunno what it is.

How do we work on it? So we define culture as being really simple for people. Culture is, for us a collective noun. So it’s a collective noun for behaviors. Now, in every culture, a family culture, a community culture, school culture, a national culture, there are behaviors that we encourage and we say, Love that, you know, do that more often, do that more creatively. That belongs in our culture. And there are behaviors that we tolerate. So staff, students, and parents are all contributing behaviors that we’d rather they didn’t, but they are. Why? Because we’re all floored. You know, most schools are just organizations that hundreds of young people with whose brains aren’t finished flood into every day.

They’re gonna make mistakes. You know, schools that play the culture game right, are not trying to eliminate the tolerated behaviours. What they’re trying to do is say, whenever tolerated behaviors come up and we expect them, we have a really clear, simple, explicit practice framework that as a staff, we have agreed this is how we approach those behaviors. This is the language we use. This is the conduct we use when we experience conflict and wrongdoing. This is how we build learning environments where young people are more likely to do encourageable rather than tolerated behaviors. You know? And these, this is the mindsets that’s driving it.

So one of the mindsets that’s counterproductive, for instance, is that every behavior has to have a consequence. Yep. So, And be punished. That’s right. There’s gotta be a punishment. And when we ask people why do you believe? You know, they say, Well, because that’s how the real world works, you know? And then when we point out to them that Stanford Uni has researched this, and 94% of the time that you and I do things that are illegal or immoral, there is no consequence.

Emily: Nothing happens.

Adam: When you change lanes without indicating, you know, when you, litter when you, put your shoes in the wrong place at home. When you speak rudely to someone in a shop, there is zero consequence for that most of the time. So why are most of us wandering around mostly doing the right thing?

There are other factors at play than the fear of getting caught. So what we need to do is to help our schools get clear on how we can bring those factors in and bring those approaches in. And when we do, they get some, they get some wonderful results. It’s not about focusing on the results, it’s about focusing on the work.

But when we do that, we actually have got schools at the moment that are, that are ticking over. I spoke to one this week who said, This is the greatest, this is the best term four we’ve had in 10 years.

Emily: Wow. That’s awesome.

Adam: Everyone’s fine. You know, it’s possible.

Emily: I think we started talking about school culture and you said there were a couple of things and we started on that was the behavior, was there another aspect?

Adam: No. All we need to do to establish the culture is have the people who run the culture, the chiefs in the culture. That’s in a school, that’s every adult that works there full time. Yeah. Clear on what’s the language we use. What’s the conduct we have in place? What are the mindsets that drive good work for us? Get that right and we help people do it through the, the book that I wrote called Restoring Teaching, which is a restoring practices inspired approach. We call it RP 2.0, which is a bit of an upgraded, We think that, we think it’s respectful of the busyness, but also the business of a contemporary school. When teachers can get clear on that it’s such a, the shoulders drop, everyone just goes, Oh, right. That’s all I need to do. I was in a classroom with a teacher yesterday and we showed them how to use circle architecture, which is part of our conduct piece. And I watched one teacher who battled for 26 minutes to try and get through this book and this instruction for her year four students. Then she found herself repeating herself for the next 15 minutes cuz the kids weren’t listening, you know, I said, Let’s get ’em in a circle. And she goes, What do you mean? I said, So I showed her, we basically went through the same content, the same task in four and a half minutes, and then watched them produce more in the next five minutes than they had in the previous 20.

And if we just go, we’ve got permission to not just stand at the front of the room and spray curriculum over the kids.

Emily: Especially in a high school setting, which can be like you revert to that as the norm.

Adam: That’s right.

Emily: Because a lot of the times they will sit quietly and air quotes, listen when you just talk at them.

Adam: The chins will go to the palms and they’ll sit there, you know, and they’ll let you do it. Yeah. You know, a lot of ’em, some won’t. They’ll actively disengage. Yeah. But regardless, they’re not making progress in their learning.

And I think that’s missing, I think a lot of teachers, Well one teacher I spoke to recently said she reckons the key to us recovering from the last few years is every kid in her school getting addicted to progress again.

Emily: Yeah. Progress, not perfection.

Adam: Just exactly right. Not, not passing benchmarks that were sent for someone else in another place at another time.

Yeah. Just making progress.

Emily: And I think that’s something that sometimes we lose sight of. Particularly working as a, as a teacher, you know, sometimes we get the pressure from top down that, well, why is this kid getting a D? And you have to have that conversation. The last three terms, they got an E. Yeah.

This is the first time they’ve ever got as high as a D. And this is amazing for them. This is private and then sometimes you get, you know, a bit of pushback. Well, yeah, but they’re still not a C, It’s not still not good enough. So I think as a teacher, sometimes we need to hold our ground a bit and remind ourselves that that progress is what’s important, even if it.

Isn’t always received that way.

Adam: Yep, exactly right. The, the measure is for somebody else. Yep. You know, what happens between a teacher and a student in their classroom? The magic bit, the bit that we both smile at each other and where you get a kid who wants to read, who’s been a reluctant reader for his entire schooling life.

Is the bit where our unexpectedly reads a word that he thought he had wrong, but you go, No, that’s right, keep going. That’s the, that’s progress. That’s what we’re trying to manufacture on mass.

Emily: And for most of us teachers, that’s, that’s what we got in the job for, is that moment.

Adam: And whether it stacks up to someone else’s benchmark in a bureaucracy somewhere else or not, is, of utter irrelevance.

Emily: So how can, we said before that, you know, maybe, perhaps, hopefully Covid is sort of, you know, we’re at the end of it. How can something like school culture help shield in part, well, I guess the teachers and the senior leadership teams, but shield the school against, the pressures an emergency situation like that.

Adam: One. I think what one is the first point that I think that’s really important to make is that the decision to work on the culture of your school is best made now. We hear some schools that say, Oh look, you know, I just don’t wanna put more, more stuff on my people. I don’t want it to be something new and I don’t wanna, overburden people at the moment. But when we put it in honest terms and say, I’m gonna wait until the culture of my school is making everyone happy before I attend to the culture of my school.

Emily: It’s never gonna happen. It, you know, it’s like saying I’m not going to the gym until I’ve got muscles.

Adam: That’s right. You know, until I look good in front of everyone. Yeah. Then I can go to the gym. You know, it’s, it’s crazy. So what we’ve gotta do is actually get some perspective around that and realize that when a room full of principals puts their hand up and says the culture of their school is important.

If it’s a priority, it deserves priority now when it’s hard. So get the culture right and what you’ve actually got on your hands is an opportunity for some of those benefits that we’re looking for. Some of those goals or targets that we’re hoping to hit to be realized, you know? So what do you get when you focus on culture?

What do I get by working? For instance, Restoratively one. I. I’m absolutely clear that when I work restoratively, either as a teacher or a principal, young people make more progress in my company academically and socially, and it’s accelerated. So they learn more deeply and more quickly because of my restorative work.

Those kids that we did the learning circle for in year four yesterday, they learned their stuff about My Place very quickly. Yeah. And they got a deeper knowledge out of it because of that four and a half minute circle. Than they

would’ve sitting at their desks or whatever. Yeah, that’s

right. So the, you know, and this teacher was just like, I can’t believe how much they did in that five minutes, you know,

So it’s, you know, there are changes we can make that will make us more effective in our work by saying, let’s get the culture bit right. You know, the other thing that happens for me, and this goes to the notion that you talk about, about why are teachers leaving, is that when I practice restoratively what happens for me is that I go home with a far reduced stress level.

And the reason for that is that I know that day that my practice was really close to my purpose. So I didn’t break any rules. I might not have got all the outcomes I wanted. You know, cuz schools are variable places. Sometimes you do brilliant work and the kids wreck it , it happens, you know? But I can know that what I did that day was really close to what I believe about working with young people.

And so I sleep better at night. I’m firm in the belief that, and I actually spoke to a university a while back I was looking at initial teacher training and they were saying that we, they wanted to look to their credit at teacher stress and how student behavior was still stressing teachers.

And they said, So we can’t have teachers wellbeing so negatively impacted because they’re awake until two o’clock in the morning worrying about the behavior that happened that day. And I said, Woo, woo woo. I said, No, they’re not. And they were like, But you showed us the research. Yes, it’s, And I said, No, no, no.

I said, They’re not lying awake until two in the morning worried about the behavior that happened that day. They’re worried that there’s no plan for it to be any better tomorrow. So when we attend to culture and we say, I know what the plan is to try and make it better tomorrow, teachers sleep better at night.

I do, I, I sleep better when I work this way. So, for me, if you say, Okay, if I were to put off the decision to work on the culture of my school until everyone’s happy, you know, , or if I say what I’m gonna do to try and get everyone happy is help us get really clear about what’s our explicit practice framework so that everybody can go home feeling that the young people are making progress again in their company, and that they’re doing stuff that sits close to their purpose.

I said they’re going, Why wouldn’t we do, Why wouldn’t we do that? Yep. Why wait, why wait? You know, let’s do the stuff that, and to be honest, that that not only helps my school achieve its goals, but keeps good people in the profession.

Emily: So it’s, it’s quite clear how the leaders can sort of shape the school culture by coming in with those sort of frameworks and this is how we’re gonna do these things. Here’s your expectations. But if you perhaps are at a school that doesn’t have that sort of leadership.

Is there anything that, a teacher can do to help? I dunno, is bolster the right word? Bolster school culture. Build school culture. Yeah. Influence it. Influence. Yep. Yep. Yeah.

Adam: There is, because the truth is that a school in a lot of ways, and, and this is, you know, despite the fact that we’ve got more open plan spaces being built in schools than we ever have, schools are still mostly built like egg cartons.

As the lowly classroom teacher, you’ve got a bubble. Yeah, a lot of the time you’ve got a sphere of influence, and what you can do is start to get these practices going. Start to use, for instance, effective language with the kids so that you can bolster their emotional intelligence.

Start to use past, present, future techniques to get them to move quickly from a point of mistake to a point of being thanked and congratulated for taking responsibility. You can start to implement that circle architecture that I spoke about, and what you can do is wander around the school being looking more effective and less stressed until someone asks you how, Why aren’t you stressed?

That’s your secret there, . Yeah. And then let it go viral. If someone wants to know, show ’em. Then you’ve got two teachers. Once you’ve got more than three or four teachers who are happy and accelerated and effective, a school leader’s gonna want to know why.

Why? Yep.

Emily: Why is everyone talking about you happy .

Adam: Exactly. Then we go, and this is a, you know, what we talk about at Real Schools wanting to wanting to transform education in Australia, which is a big goal, and I get that we’re flirting with the tall poppy syndrome on when we start, something like that. But I don’t think transformation’s gonna happen from a, a political or a bureaucratic level. It’s going, it’s never gonna happen. Top down. It’s gonna happen one school at a time. So if we do get enough schools who are happy and for somehow some reason are telling us that they’re having the best term four that they’ve had in 10 years,

Emily: especially this soon after the pandemic ,

Adam: I reckon at some stage a politician’s gonna notice.

Yep. And they’re gonna wanna take credit for it. Yep. And we’re gonna let ’em .

Yeah. As long as the change happens,

we just want this stuff spread. Yeah. Yeah. So it’s, and it’s the same phenomena in a school, you know, how do we get this to infect your school? How do we get a classroom teacher to impact the culture of the school?

Just get your bubble thriving.

Emily: And that doesn’t have to look like a huge time investment from an individual teacher either.

Adam: nup, and that’s where we are really clear. Even schools that work with us, we say to them straight. There is no additional work. So we work with schools for three years and there is not one extra bit of work for teachers.

It is entirely geared around small shifts. So there is some change. Yeah. Brilliant. And that can be awkward. But if you can just agree to do things differently and to try doing it differently, not longer, but save time, that you can get that effect of being more effective and less stressed.

It can happen, without investment of extra time, without investment of extra effort. In fact, it should save you time and you should go home without a sore throat and a headache. Yeah, .

Emily: Awesome. All right. Yeah. I guess, I guess we could end it with one question, which I didn’t put on the list, but is if there was one thing that you wish you could say to all teachers, what would that thing be or something that you would want them to know?

Adam: So if I wanted teachers in Australia to know one thing, it would be that the work they do is valuable. The message that we are getting, for instance saying the lead up to a federal election is that the important work is all, when they talk about nation building, they talk about bridges and highways and infrastructure.

And to be totally honest, Bs. When we talk about nation building, it’s about the people we’re building. They’re the people that comprise of nation, and that’s what our teachers do. So your work is valued and it is so important to the national prosperity that having a plan for how you do that really effectively is really important.

That’s really excellent, getting really clear on the culture that you build and how important that is, such that you should scream it from the rooftops, how amazing it is. The work that you do, is probably what I want all teachers to know. They’re not unimportant in our national and economic prosperity. In fact, an uneducated nation is possibly the best way to make us all go broke. Yeah. Yeah.

Emily: It’s like that, that saying that, you know, teaching is the profession that makes all other professions.

Adam: It is, good luck trying to help us to have economic prosperity if no one has a decent education, we are in trouble. We need to attend to that workforce and the people that were in it. I just, I know there are people leaving, but I would implore all of you to hang in there through the tough times, because you really matter.

Emily: All right. Thank you so much for your time today, Adam. The wisdom that you have imparted, I think, is going to be raising a lot of questions for a lot of people in, in a good way.

And I think this topic of school culture is something that is often swept under the rug, but I think it needs to be brought more to light because we’re not gonna retain teachers, we’re gonna keep hemorrhaging unless something changes. And that’s not necessarily gonna change at the political level, like you said. That’s gotta, that’s gotta come from within. So building up this school culture, I think is, is one way that we can sort of protect ourselves and our own profession. So thank you for your time today.

Adam: No, it’s my pleasure. Thank you very much for having me, Emily.


Emily is a secondary science and math teacher in Australia. She enjoys sharing the real and human teacher life, facilitating the ‘light bulb’ moment in her students, and drinking tea and wine.

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