Almost half of new teachers leave the profession within 5 years

Up to 50% of new teachers leave the profession within 5 years - with some of the blame being placed on stress and burnout.

There are growing levels of pressure, anxiety, and mental illness within the teaching profession, with issues like homelessness, substance misuse, educational disadvantage and poverty among students, just some of the reasons why teachers are struggling.

An event was being held in Dublin today to highlight the importance of good mental health for teachers.

The ‘Self Care for Educators’ event was hosted by AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation in partnership with EPALE Ireland and Leargas.

AONTAS says teachers need to be taught how to mind their mental health.

Niamh Reilly, CEO of AONTAS said 'There has been a growing focus in recent years on students’ mental health and the importance of cultivating resilience and mindfulness in learners of all ages.  However, it is equally important that educators – across all sectors and levels of the education system – develop mindfulness and resilience skills, so they can avoid burnout and are supported to protect their own mental wellbeing.'

Priscilla McKenna, a secondary school teacher in Adamstown Community College in Dublin says it's frustrating when people think that teachers have an easy job, "I've come from the private sector where I worked as an accountant and then went into teaching and I just say "come follow me for a week and you won't say that anymore". It's just so frustrating and hurtful to think that we give so much and all we're told is "ah sure you get three months holidays".