Teacher retention is steadily becoming a major problem for administrators and districts across the United States. Many educators experience burnout due to the overwhelming responsibility of lesson coverage and challenging student behaviors.
According to The Wall Street Journal, nearly 300,000 public-school teachers and other support staff left the industry between February 2020 and May 2022
However, there are effective strategies for keeping teachers excited about staying in the industry and proving our children with a quality education.
The most effective strategies for improving Teacher Retention includes:
Appreciating a teacher is recognizing that what she or he is doing now is valuable not only to students but also to administration as well.
Having been a teacher for over 35 years, I have worked in schools that ignored teachers on every level of responsibility. These teachers had little or no support in acquiring necessary resources, lesson planning, or classroom discipline. The left the industry.
School districts and administrator should put out a “statement of appreciation for thoughtful contributions on a weekly if not daily basis.
Considering the educational crisis today, ignored teaching staff often think about greener professions if they aren’t the attention and respect due to them. As a result, teacher retention suffers.
Sustain Meaningful Discussions
Communication lines must always be open. Issues pertaining to needs and concerns are exposed in meaningful discussions. For example, if teachers are worried about the growing aggression of students toward teachers in any school, administrators should call for discussion and come to a mutual agreement.
If teacher leaders or district managers ignore negative student behaviors, teachers may feel abandoned and decide to escape the situation by resigning.
The needs and concerns of teachers must be confronted right away. Empty promises of support without any visible signs leads to hopelessness and industrial flight.
Sense of Ownership
The responsibilities of educators are to provide a dynamic education for the next generation, but they must be giving more access to decision making as well. Academic standards and curriculum creation should be a shared collaboration.
Many teachers feel left out of the decision-making process. Whatever the district says is an industrial law that cannot be overturned. Such rigidity isn’t right.
If the excitement for teaching is going to be promoted, districts must release a sense of ownership so that teachers can embrace the opportunity to affect change.
Mandatory Parental Training
The collaboration of teachers and parents should be mandatory, giving the current classroom environment of growing toxic behavior.
To combat negative behavior in students’ parents and teachers must have a common vision for a child’s academic advancement.
Parental classes will teach parents how to collaborate with teachers to create the most positive outcome for a child.
Because parents have the greater persuasion over a child’s conduct, the importance of parent and teacher cannot be any clearer.
Showing appreciation, having meaningful discussions, granting a sense of ownership, and introducing required parental classes are critical strategies for teacher retention.
Imagine a school with the reputation for loyal teachers, educator who can’t wait to get to school the next day to teach children. Students would never have to worry about being abandoned in the middle of a school year.
The advantages of retaining teachers cannot be overestimated. They include:
One of the benefits of retaining teachers is stability in the school environment. Learning isn’t interrupted and children will have confidence that they will see the same teacher the entire year. Therefore, students can focus on academic success and excellence.
When teachers are excited about coming to work, loyalty becomes a great possibility. They feel appreciated and heard. Teachers leave for lack of response regarding issues that need to be immediately addressed.
The longer teachers stay in the same school environment, the value of the school grows. The atmosphere becomes more empowered with inspiration. Parents and student’s connectivity with teachers’ blossoms.
However, the disadvantages of not retaining teachers are highly destructive:
High teacher turnover within any school or district breeds instability. Students become confused and often lose motivation due to lack of focus.
In a school where administration is always silent in times of academic crisis, teachers become noncommittal. Many take off from work just to look for other jobs. The desire to come to work weakens considerably.
The value of a school or district declines when teachers leave. Parents become hesitate to enroll or reenroll their children in such an uncertain environment. Many schools have closed because of low student enrollment.
Bottom Line! The responsibility of school administration is to retain teachers at all meaningful cost. First all needs must be satisfied.
Teacher leaders and staff must sit down and discuss the issues that are overwhelming the current educational scene and implement the strategies necessary for success.
Unless teacher retention is taken seriously, the American school system will face a downward spiral for years to come.