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Arkansas State University

Improving Teacher Retention

Teacher retention has become a problem in the United States, especially in high-poverty schools. As policymakers cut educational funding and classroom sizes increase, teachers have to assume more responsibilities. These cuts also mean that students lose out on promising young teachers who leave the education field for more lucrative careers. The constant teacher turnover reduces a school’s ability to provide consistent quality education to its students.

Researchers who study teacher retention suggest that it is important for school districts and administrators to become familiar with the primary reasons teachers choose to leave their jobs, in order to make district-wide or school-specific changes that increase teachers’ job satisfaction. By enrolling in an online Master of Science in Education in Educational Leadership program, you can learn how schools can increase workplace support, job satisfaction and teacher retention.

Workplace Support

When teachers feel supported by school administrators, including the principal, they are more likely to remain in their jobs. There are many ways that administrators can build trust and camaraderie with teachers, including recognizing teacher accomplishments, communicating regularly with teaching staff about changes in policies, and remaining accessible and open to suggestions or complaints.

Asking For Input

When a school administration encourages input from teachers about issues like scheduling, curricula and other factors, it contributes to a work culture in which teachers feel valued. It is important for school administrators to recognize that many top-level decisions will affect the daily work lives of a school’s teachers. When an administration makes decisions without consulting the teachers, they breed frustration and resentment.

Supporting Professional Development

Teachers choose their careers to make a difference in the lives of students. To support them in this goal, administration must create opportunities for professional development. When an administration helps teachers gain new information about teaching methods, technologies or philosophies, it can inspire and energize staff members. Facilitating one-on-one time between experienced educators and new teachers is another way to encourage professional development, the exchange of ideas, and a supportive culture.

In order to create a workplace culture that values its teachers, administrators must understand why some teachers leave their schools. Creating avenues for professional development and an environment of trust as well as valuing teachers’ input are ways to improve teacher retention. With an online master’s in education, you can be poised to contribute to a healthy work environment as an educator or an administrator.

Learn more about Arkansas State University’s Online MSE in Educational Leadership.


NCTAF: It’s Time to Solve the Teacher Turnover Problem

ASCD: Keeping Good Teachers

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