The silent killer for school leaders emerging from the pandemic.

Amid the aftermath of the COVID pandemic and the challenge of teacher shortages, school leadership teams may face a new dilemma. Instead of leaving their jobs, some teachers are resorting to a silent quitting approach in which they continue to work but only fulfill the minimum obligations of their role, such as showing up to school and completing tasks within their job description. While this may provide temporary relief, there are downsides to this psychological withdrawal, both personally and professionally.

Silent quitting involves withdrawing psychologically from work, which can cause their passion for the profession to fade. It is essential to consider whether quitting altogether or seeking a career change would be a better option instead of enduring an unfulfilling job silently. It may also be helpful to identify and address the root cause of dissatisfaction with the current teaching circumstances.

Before considering a silent quitting, it is crucial to determine what is missing in their work life and whether discussing their concerns with their principal or seeking support could be beneficial. If there is no resolution in sight, resigning passively may not improve the situation and could harm personal and professional well-being.

Choosing to stay in a job while passively resigning could limit advancement opportunities and make it difficult to showcase skills to potential employers. Furthermore, working half-heartedly can negatively affect team dynamics, and it may even make things worse for everyone involved.

“Silent Quitting” is not a sustainable solution and could cause more harm than good in the long run. It is crucial to assess the situation thoroughly and take proactive steps to address concerns before making any drastic decisions.

Author: Dr Jake Madden

Jake Madden (Dip Teach; B.Ed; Grad Dip: Leadership; M. Ed: Leadership; EdD; FACEL; MACE) Dr. Jake Madden is currently the Principal, St Edward’s Primary School, Tamworth. He has enjoyed a successful teaching and principal leadership career over the last thirty years building teacher capacity through the development of learning in the contemporary world, the promotion of flexible learning spaces to meet the needs of the 21st century learner and curriculum for global mindedness. Jake is a leader in the notion of teacher-as-researcher and is widely published in this area, authoring and co-authoring books and a number of journal articles showcasing his experiences and research into leading educational change.

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