Retaining Teachers: Fostering Conditions Where Talent Thrives

Retaining Teachers: Fostering Conditions Where Talent Thrives

Teachers have long been identified as the number one in-school factor influencing student outcomes. Conversely, teacher turnover is correlated with lower student outcomes and contributes to school cultures where churn and instability prevent positive change from taking root.

Fortunately, many schools around the country have fostered healthy, positive workplaces where a stable group of great teachers form the bedrock of learning programs where students thrive.

In a series of blog posts to be published throughout 2019, Education Evolving will present actionable insights and ideas to inform, inspire, and equip those working at the school, district, and state level to retain and support great talent. Posts will dive deep on data and analysis, and also feature the perspectives and stories of those impacted by this issue.

Bookmark this page and check back here often to see series blog posts as they are added, below. Or, sign up to receive blog posts by email.

We are grateful to the McKnight Foundation for their generous financial support for this series.

Blog Posts:

Introduction to our new blog series focused on the growing problem of teacher turnover, and highlighting the stories of schools, strategies, programs, and leaders that buck this trend.

A summary of available data on the problem of teacher turnover, and a review of evidence on the negative impacts of this turnover.

Addressing the problem of teacher turnover requires looking deeply at its root causes. This post explores the data available on why teachers leave the profession.

In this post, we describe three lenses from education theory and research that speak directly to negative sentiments we’ve heard too often in our work with teachers over the years: positive school culture and climate; teacher collective efficacy; and culturally responsive school leadership.

This Q&A-style post highlights lessons learned from a Minneapolis school that has focused on building positive culture and climate with teachers.

Letitia Johnson-Davis, an elementary principal in Los Angeles, shares reflections on how their culturally responsive and autonomous school community has engaged and invigorated teachers, and in turn has kept student needs at the center of school design.

When teachers leave it has detrimental effects on students and schools. When we dig deeper on the data for teachers of color, we find that the problem is exacerbated. Why do teachers of color leave at higher rates than white teachers? To answer this question, we examined national, state, and local data, and some Minnesota policy initiatives implemented over the past three decades.

Research clearly shows all students benefit from having teachers of diverse racial and ethnic identities. But policies and initiatives have neglected to address the constructs within schools that frustrate those who don’t identify as part of the dominant culture, leading many students to disengage and teachers to leave the profession. EE’s Alex Vitrella talked with some of those who have stayed—and learned what makes them stay.

A message of support and encouragement to her colleagues from a Minneapolis teacher of color.

A former Minneapolis teacher, Dr. Rose Chu, shares how mentorship was a necessary sustaining support throughout each stage of her teaching career.

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