Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How Do We Address the Crisis in Teacher Retention?

I was looking at the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF) website and blog today and found a video that I recommend all of you watch. Teacher retention is a huge problem, not only in K-12 education, but also within career and technology education (according to the 2007-2008 national SASS data, the mode for teaching experience across the U.S. is ONE YEAR).  Only one year?  Where do the teachers go and why? What can be done to change this trend?

Some of the problems facing teacher retention include the need for better pay and better pay systems, a lack of professional growth, and the list goes on from there.  I personally think that new teachers also want to be challenged professionally. It is no longer good enough to have a promise of decent pay, job security, and a retirement after thirty years. These things were of utmost importance to my parents and they are to me as well, but I want a challenge and what makes me the happiest is when I learn something new. I also want to have the opportunity to use what I learn or to share this knowledge with others. As Tom Carroll, President of NCTAF stated at a presentation that I attended a couple of weeks ago, "Learning is no longer job preparation, it is the job. We need to transform schools from teaching organizations into learning organizations."  I believe this applies to not only the students, but to teachers, support personnel, and administrators at every level.  Learning through professional development, peer collaboration, etc. Lifelong learning and discovery are keys to your successful retention efforts.

Take a look at the following video and share your thoughts:

Visit the National Center for Eduction Statistics, the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations, for additional data on retention and more.

Also take a look at "NCTAF In the News."

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