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.

This series ran throughout 2019 and has now wrapped up. 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.

Three themes from education theory and research can help address the challenges we've heard teachers describe: 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 school community has engaged and invigorated teachers, and in turn has kept student needs at the center.

This post examines national, state, and local data, and some Minnesota policy initiatives implemented over the past three decades.

Policies and initiatives have neglected to address elements of schools that frustrate those who don’t identify as part of the dominant culture. We 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.

The University of St. Thomas School of Education and Education Evolving teamed up to examine what can be done to increase teacher retention and what conditions enable teachers to thrive in their schools.

We talked to district administrators to ask, “How do you foster an ecosystem where teacher talent thrives?” This is what we heard.

Thee main strategies that policymakers use to help retain teachers: improving initial teacher preparation; supporting teachers’ on-boarding and development; and expanding opportunities for teacher professionalism and leadership.

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