If your school wants to know how to better recruit and retain faculty it is time to look at why they are leaving in the first place. Current research shows that 46% of new teachers overall are leaving the field within the first 5 years, and the numbers are worse in poverty stricken or under performing areas of the country. In fact, some schools have a teacher drop out rate higher than student drop out rates.
Studies and research has been done to determine exactly what the overall cause of attrition is, and the results are mixed between lack of fulfillment and salary. What few studies are doing, is actually talking to the teachers to find out what is going on in the field.
Teacher Responses to Retainment Issues
A poll of teachers, both those who have quit and those who are still toughing it out will bring to light many of the issues they face. These conversations show that yes, money is a major factor but it is far from the only problem they face and many of them just do not feel it is worth it any longer. Here are just a few of the top reasons experienced and new teachers give for walking away from the field entirely:
- Respect- teachers discover very quickly there is little respect for them or the field, even from superiors. Students, parents, and administrators all show a decided lack of respect for the field.
- Testing Focus- this comes up more than a few times in conversation. It seems administrators are hyper focused on test scores, which means teachers are given direct orders to get children prepared for tests rather than for the real world. Any style that goes outside the arena of getting the standardized test scores up is not allowed or frowned upon.
- Support- in any profession you need to feel like your boss has your back, at least to some degree. Many teachers state that superintendents and principals completely fail to support the faculty.
- Living the Reality, not the dream- no one goes into the teaching profession expecting to become a data collecting babysitter who churns out robotic test takers. However, the dream of reaching students, changing lives and shaping young minds is buried somewhere in the aforementioned mountain.
You want to know how to recruit and retain faculty from kindergarten through college? First, start by understanding why they are leaving. Recruitment is only half the problem and it can usually be solved by a combination of better pay and better marketing of your school and surroundings. The tough job is addressing the deep issues that have been growing for decades in the public school system.
Article provided by, K-12 Recruitment Group – a recruiting firm focused exclusively on filling K-12 administrative leadership positions throughout the USA
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