Magazine article District Administration

Holding onto Teachers That Flee

Magazine article District Administration

Holding onto Teachers That Flee

Article excerpt

When more teachers leave the field rather than stay, it poses a big problem. Experts say that specialized professional development, mentor teachers and formative assessments for beginning teachers are just some ways districts can retain more new teachers.

The U.S. has plenty of teachers, they're just not in the classroom, mainly because they fled after two to five years, according to Tom Carroll, president of the National Commission on Teaching & America's Future. About one-third of new teachers leave after three years and 46 percent leave after five years, national statistics show.

The biggest hit came in the late 1990s when those leaving the profession outpaced the entrants--primarily due to school conditions, Carroll says. Teachers felt no support from school leaders, had little time to collaborate with colleagues, and faced disruptive students. They also complained of a lack of control in the organization and instruction in school.

"Teachers need a stronger voice and a strong principal leader who works with teachers on effective instructional strategies, clear goals, and school environments around teaching and learning, and to end disruptive environments," Carroll says.

Strong teacher preparation is also key to keeping teachers. A teacher from a four-year program is more likely to stay in the profession than those certified in a four-week alternative program.

School districts must process resumes for teacher vacancies quickly so qualified candidates are contacted on Lime. …

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