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December 11, 2023

30+ Considerations for Teacher Retention

Teacher attrition is impacting students, families, communities, school buildings, school staff members including teaching colleagues, leaders, and districts across the country. In partnership with EdWeb, Teaching Channel recently provided some real life examples and solutions to this ongoing challenge in the webinar: Tips for Supporting and Retaining Your New Teachers.

As a matter of fact, several recent initiatives at Teaching Channel and K12 Coalition have focused on solving the teacher shortage and retention challenges. We’ve reviewed research, presented and written on the topic, and even created retention specific products, like EQUIP for New Teachers. We’ve chatted with building and district leaders, attended conferences, and shared our alternative certification solution. The topic of retention is common even in our day-to-day conversations.

Needing another perspective, I recently asked my SnapChat AI the following question: What should educational leaders do about teacher attrition?

Here’s what My AI said: 

“Educational leaders can address teacher attrition by providing ongoing support, professional development, and creating a positive work environment.”

So, the following checklist is divided into those three categories (plus a miscellaneous category) for your reflection on teacher retention solutions. As you read, try to choose the next step or two to increase teacher retention in your organization. 

Specific to teacher retention challenges, have you considered… 

1. Providing ongoing support by…

  • developing and collaborating with an instructional leadership team? providing instructional coaching?
  • supporting curriculum development and implementation?
  • providing meaningful feedback?
  • supporting collaborative planning time?
  • providing tools, templates, curriculum, curated materials, and data collection and analysis tools?

2. Providing professional development by…

  • developing or improving a strong induction and onboarding program? assessing and developing school leadership?
  • making professional development and growth a priority in your staff and teacher retention efforts?
  • embedding professional learning in the work teachers are doing in the classroom?
  • redefining professional learning communities to more fully include and support new or teachers in need of additional support?
  • encouraging educator exchanges or collegial observations?
  • implementing a video coaching platform, such as our EMPOWER Platform, to encourage teacher reflection and growth?

3. Creating a positive work environment by…

  • humanizing yourself?
  • building meaningful relationships with teachers based on trust? assessing and improving the health of your school climate and/or culture? building resilience in your staff?
  • developing and rewarding your existing teachers?
  • focusing on wellness as a school community?
  • modeling a growth mindset, gratitude, positivity, and work-life balance? solving challenges around focus, discipline, and accountability? tapping into existing potential?
  • providing teacher leader and aspiring leader opportunities?
  • extending the same empathy to teachers that you do to students and their families?
  • ensuring more flexibility and understanding?
  • giving teachers a voice and then listening actively?
  • increasing transparency?
  • sharing your vision for retention?

4. Addressing the following miscellaneous factors by…

  • collecting and analyzing data on new teacher attrition and retention?
  • assigning data collection, analysis, and retention planning to an executive work group?
  • pursuing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) with intention and commitment?
  • figuring out the root cause of shortcomings that might be affecting your staff and teacher retention efforts?
  • increasing or changing your compensation package?
  • training your mentors?
  • creating or clarifying career paths or leadership lanes?
  • including retention and recruitment in your strategic plan?

Resources

Teacher Recruitment & Retention: Attract and Keep Your Most Effective Educators by Jill Nyhus with Jason Culbertson

4 Leadership Questions to Boost Your Retention Rates by New Leaders

For K-12 Schools Struggling With Staff and Teacher Retention, These Best Practices Can Help by Hanover Research

Tips for Supporting and Retaining Your New Teachers a webinar in partnership with EdWeb

Solutions

EQUIP for New Teachers a professional program provided by Teaching Channel

Recruitment and Retention Strategic Planning provided by Insight Education
Group

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