Vol.#55: Is the NC Goal “First in Teacher Flight”?

It may be only be six weeks after New Year’s, but already both the state of North Carolina and Wake County have grave concerns about filling the needed teaching positions for next school year.

And so they should.

North Carolina often fills positions from teachers in states like Ohio and New York where turnover is low and teachers can’t find positions. However, with no more pay for advanced degrees in NC, most of those candidates will likely no longer be coming here anymore.

Besides needing to attract teachers, there’s the issue of teacher turnover. NCDPI was concerned enough about this very issue to send a report to the General Assembly. You can read the whole report here, but I’ve compiled a few highlights:


You’ll notice it’s not just that more teachers are leaving, but that more and more tenured, experienced teachers are leaving. The mentors of the beginning teachers. The department chairs. The leadership team members. The teachers any principal needs upon which to build a school.

The concerns the data raise are only the tip of the iceberg for what I feel is impending, based on my front-row view from the classroom trenches.


For example, of significant note but not yet reflected in this report is the fact that in Wake County alone, the number of teachers who have left specifically to teach in another state have already doubled so far this year from this data last year.

And…it’s still only February.

Also consider this year so far this blog has included:

None of these facts are reflected in the reported data. Yet.

And then, this week a teacher raise for only new teachers was proposed. This conversation, which I’ve been given permission to share with you, should give you some insight into the morale and mindset of North Carolina’s teacher leaders:

facebook quit FINAL

These are some of the best educators in North Carolina classrooms from all over the state. And although I can personally vouch for their exceptionalism as educators, I am certain these sentiments are not exceptional. Conversations like this one are happening on every facebook wall and in every teacher lounge in the state.

Yes, indeed…they should be gravely concerned about the mass exodus coming North Carolina’s way.

first in flight


6 thoughts on “Vol.#55: Is the NC Goal “First in Teacher Flight”?”

  1. The data from Wake is especially alarming when you consider that THOSE teachers leaving NC to teach elsewhere are uprooting to do so. In Charlotte and other NC cities you can cross the border without moving your home. This is alarming.

    I think every day about an exit strategy because of the disrespect from our lawmakers. I am due to renew my national boards next year so I will stick it out to do that. Long term I want to keep teaching. I can’t imagine doing anything else. And North Carolina is my home. So I’m in it to fight the good fight (for myself and our students) but like the initial poster in the Facebook thread you included, I want to cry at the injustice.


  2. Wow! I’m speechless.

    The angst and frustration of former colleagues still fighting the good fight on behalf of NC children saddens me no end. I understand too well. I wove the white flag and walked away several months ago, however, I do look back. I won’t go back, but I do look back. I miss my work with children terribly. I miss the daily interactions with children that I realize now meant so much more than I thought. However, as a 20 year teaching veteran, the practical won out and I walked out.

    I waited last week with bated breath, hoping Gov McRory would finally compensate NC’s teachers–bring them a working wage, one that would lighten their emotional, physical and financial loads, but no, that didn’t happen. I am sorry for it. I’m not in the classroom anymore, but felt equally heavy-hearted on behalf of all the fantastic men and women in front of our students every day. Governor Mcrory’s announcement is a serious smack down on the lives of teachers who have made educating children their life’s work.

    I agree with one educator in the thread, She/he is right–elections are coming and educators need to galvanize and vote more progressive-thinking leaders into office.

    Best to You All, Trish Lowe

    *Tricia Joy Sweeney-Lowe* tdt135@gmail.com *Director of Growth and Public Relations,* Keller Williams, Raleigh, NC

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  3. I apologize for my confusion but I was putting my son to bed and saw that I had a notification on my iPad with your name on it. I cleared the lock screen and now I’m not sure what app the notification was from and I don’t see a reply. If you sent me a reply will you resend it? Sorry.



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