What can schools do to keep good teachers in the profession? Did you know that "30 percent of new teachers leave the profession within the first five years, with a 50 percent higher turnover rate in high-poverty schools"? (taken from "Teacher Turnover Negatively Impacts Student Achievement in Math and English" published in The Journal, July 29, 2013).
In that same article, Leila Meyer shared the results of a University of Michigan study that determined teacher turnover adversely affects the academic success of students in math and English.
What suggestions do you have for encouraging teachers to remain in the profession?
Do you think teacher retention is linked to student achievement?
In reference to teacher retention, Jeanne Rogers shared these comments in another discussion:
I have friends who are asking the question, "Why stay?" It happens during the weeks of summer, when teachers have time with family and friends and time to reflect on their career.
"Take the U.S. Department of Education's 2005 examination of departures. Thirty percent of teachers left in 2003–04 because of retirement, but 56 percent left citing job dissatisfaction and a desire to find an entirely new career." NEA - Why They Leave
I've recently retired, after 39 years in education. But I feel a strong connection with my colleagues and a feeling that I can still contribute, just in a different way. I have friends who have retired early and have already taken jobs in other fields where one "just goes to work each day, nothing to take home, no worries...."
Why do you stay in this profession? What makes teaching special to you?
I can reach many students that others cannot by using their interests, learning styles, and abilities. I enjoy helping my students become better more independent readers and helping them learn their best.
If you are a certified teacher who enjoys teaching you can also volunteer as a Literacy Tutor.
Beginning teachers seeking positions should already be researching the schools/systems where they are interviewing. I would challenge them to research the principals of the schools as well. There are far too many principals who have sought that position simply to escape the classroom and have no viable track record of effective teaching...so how could that principal possibly be a resource and support? New teachers need positive support and guidance from administrators who were effective teachers and promoted as such.
In training career switchers for teaching, I coach them to ask questions in their interviews about existing mentoring programs, available professional development, and available central office resource personnel for their growth.
We lose too many promising individuals who enter the field needing only some reality experience and support from experienced, effective colleagues, but administrators who prioritize position over results will only prolong and exacerbate the exit of future effective teachers.