This summer, I read many articles from and about teachers leaving education for myriad reasons. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, teacher turnover is about 16 percent, compared to about 12 percent a quarter-century ago. In one specific post that resonated with me, a much-loved and well-respected teacher articulated five reasons why she was leaving the classroom. As I reflected on each of these reasons, I couldn’t help but think about what our leadership team is doing well and what all of us as school leaders can do better. (more…)
Guest post by Melissa D. Hensley
Central High School, an 800-student school in rural Woodstock, VA, has felt the effects of the national teacher shortage this year. We replaced a third of our staff as teachers left for higher paying jobs or relocated to take positions closer to their family. This high turnover rate alarmed us and caused our staff to discuss the impact of teacher turnover and develop a teacher-led strategic plan to increase retention. These efforts have led to a renewed commitment from our teachers to support each other and strengthen our school community. (more…)
Guest post by Edward Fuller and Michelle D. Young
The research is abundantly clear—great teachers have a very positive impact on students. Less known is that school leaders are the second most important school factor influencing a variety of student outcomes. School leaders influence student outcomes both directly, through interactions with students, and indirectly, by ensuring students have access to great teachers. (more…)
Guest post by Rachel Heide
What support can districts provide to new teachers to help them adjust to the school community and the demands of the profession?
Two vital components for producing positive student outcomes are recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers. According to a 2015 U.S. Department of Education study on public school teacher attrition and mobility rates, as new teachers move toward their fifth year of teaching, the rate of attrition nears 20 percent (IES, 2015). When nearly one in five teachers is leaving the profession by his or her fifth year of teaching, schools run the risk of losing talented teachers who could be making the needed impact toward positive student outcomes. Finding ways to retain the talented teachers we hire has become an imperative, and this was identified as a key ingredient for meeting the needs of students during a period of population growth at Erie Middle School.
Inside the Beltway
What’s going on in Washington?
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) made several important announcements this week concerning implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). On February 2, Acting Secretary of Education John King sent a follow-up letter to chief state school officers concerning the president’s Testing Action Plan, released in October. In the letter, King updated the plan to align with the requirements of ESSA and clarify that, through ESSA, states will receive funds that can be used to help develop and improve their assessment systems. (more…)