Supporting Educators for Student Achievement
Current research indicates that the more support and guidance beginning teachers received during their first five years of teaching, the more likely they were to remain in the classroom a longer time.
- Public school teachers who change jobs usually say they do so for a better teaching opportunity or because they are dissatisfied with administrative support or school conditions.
(Graziano, Claudia, Public Education Faces a Crisis in Teacher Retention, 2005)
- Four major trends emerge from research literature about why new teachers leave their positions:
- New teachers feel overwhelmed by the expectations and scope of the job;
- New teachers feel isolated and unsupported in their classrooms;
- New teachers are unclear about expectations; and
- New teachers’ own expectations don’t match the actual job.
Effective induction is a systematic process of training and supporting new educators beginning before the first day of school and continuing throughout the first years of teaching.
Effective induction combines activities and practices that:
- Ease the transition into teaching;
- Promote the school’s culture;
- Improve educator effectiveness through training in classroom management and effective teaching techniques;
- Increase the retention of highly qualified and highly effective educators; and
- Promote student achievement.
Successful induction of new teachers includes:
- Orientation, preparation, and planning time before school begins;
- Professional development through systematic training and classroom observation over a period of the early years of teaching;
- Support for the new educator from a mentor, colleagues, and administrators;
- Mentoring as a component of induction; and
- Opportunities for new educators to observe highly effective educators’ classrooms.
Individualized Support for New Hires
Although new hires need the support provided by induction-with-mentoring, the diversity of pathways to teaching requires that districts pay attention to the unique needs of each newly hired educator.
For those involved in the support of new educators, ask yourself the following kinds of questions:
- How should your induction-with-mentoring program be tailored to meet the needs of both traditionally prepared teachers and nontraditionally prepared teachers?
- How can you support veteran educators who are coming into a new district?
- What resources will you need to assist nontraditionally prepared teachers who are pursuing certification?
- What can you do to make sure that late hires have received complete orientation instructions and have not missed important information?
- How can you assist “grow your own” teachers from within your district in adjusting to their new roles within the district?
- How can you assure that all new hires get the support they need to achieve competence in pedagogy and classroom management?
- How will support for an experienced new educator differ from support for a beginning new educator?
Developing and Retaining Great Educators
Good recruitment practices, an information-rich hiring process, and a comprehensive induction process all help educators get off to a good start. However, it is the complex interaction of working conditions within schools that is the key to retaining educators and helping them to become great educators. Professional development that is job embedded, focused on student achievement, and tied to school-wide improvement is central to creating the working conditions that nurture and support highly skilled educators.
High-quality professional development:
- Focuses on teachers as central to student learning;
- Focuses on individual, collegial, and organizational improvement;
- Promotes continuous inquiry and improvement embedded in the daily life of the schools;
- Is planned collaboratively by those who will participate in and facilitate that development;
- Enables teachers to develop experience in subject content, teaching strategies, uses of technologies, and all other elements that pertain to teaching to high standards;
- Requires substantial time and other resources; and
- Focuses on using a variety of sources and types of student, educator, and system data to plan and evaluate professional learning.
Resources (Click on the links below.)
- Delisio, Ellen, Principals Hold the Key to Teacher
Retention, Education World, 2010.
- Emerick, Hirsh, and Barnett,
Teacher Working Conditions as a Catalyst for Student
Learning, ASCD Infobrief, October 2005.
A Brief Introduction for Beginning Special Education
Teachers, Induction Insights Supporting
Teachers-Teachers (TT-1), National Center to Inform
Policy and Practice in Special Education Professional
Teacher Induction: What the Data Tell Us, Phi
Delta Kappan, Education Week Online, May 2012.
- Muller, Eve, Creating Mentoring Programs as a Means of Retaining Qualified Special Education
Personnel, Personnel Improvement Center, Practice Brief, Winter 2011.
- Muller, Eve, Strategies for the Recruitment and Retention of Qualified Related Service Providers, Personnel
Center, Practice Brief, Spring 2011.
- The Center for Teaching Quality
on Great Teachers and Leaders
New Teacher Center, Educator Resources. This webpage contains White Papers and Reports on all topics related to retaining new teachers, particularly the areas of induction and mentoring.