Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

To Aid Teacher Retention, Lighten Novices’ Burden

November 14, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Thanks for running Arthur E. Levine and David Haselkorn’s Commentary about teacher retention and recruitment (“Teaching at the Precipice,” Nov. 5, 2008). I’m interested in the topic on two fronts: I have two kids who will hit high school just as the baby-boomer teachers retire en masse, and I’m one of the middle-aged career-changers with a technical background, advanced degrees, and private-sector experience whom your authors would like to see in the classroom. (Currently I teach high school physics in Massachusetts on a preliminary license; I entered the field as a long-term substitute in several high and middle schools, both public and private.)

One suggestion I would like to make is that first-year teachers should be given less than full teaching loads, with one prep period (ideally) and relief from nonteaching duties. This would enable them to build new curriculum; develop relationships with the other professionals on campus, such as special education liaisons, information technology staff members, and librarians; and observe senior colleagues at work in their classrooms. With a full load of classes and nonteaching duties as well as the need to make everything up for the very first time, new teachers are hard-pressed to build relationships and learn all they might from mentors and peers.

Yes, this idea would cost money, but, as the authors note, the costs may be more than made up by lower turnover and greater teacher effectiveness.

Joshua Roth

Winchester, Mass.

A version of this article appeared in the November 19, 2008 edition of Education Week as To Aid Teacher Retention, Lighten Novices’ Burden

Events

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Personalized Learning Webinar
No Time to Waste: Individualized Instruction Will Drive Change
Targeted support and intervention can boost student achievement. Join us to explore tutoring’s role in accelerating the turnaround. 
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools
Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Meaningful
Join us for this event with educators and experts on the damage the pandemic did to academic and social and emotional well-being.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 23, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 2, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: October 19, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: October 12, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read