Education

Principal Perspectives

By Anthony Rebora — September 01, 2004 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A majority of school principals say that providing in-school support is the best way to help new teachers succeed in the profession, according to a data-rich report issued by Recruiting New Teachers Inc., a nonprofit group based in Belmont, Mass.

The report, prepared for RNT by Peter Harris Research Group, is based on information gathered from telephone interviews with a cross-section of 600 principals throughout the country. It is meant to shed light on school administrators’ views on teacher recruitment and retention.

Sixty percent of the principals surveyed cited in-school support systems--including formal mentoring programs as well as observation of experienced teachers and meetings with experienced staff--as the most effective resources for new teachers, according to the report. Half of the principals said that providing additional support would be the best way to improve their existing programs for new teachers.

Those findings echo other recent research and commentary pointing to the benefits of strong mentoring programs and supportive staff relationships to new teachers.

The report also says that a full 85 percent of principals cite stress as a “serious issue” for first-year teachers, with classroom management and instructional skills most commonly mentioned as the greatest challenges for new educators.

Accordingly, the report says, 63 percent of principals think education schools should put a greater emphasis on teaching practical knowledge of classroom conditions, including classroom management skills and discipline strategies. About one in four said aspiring teachers should also be required to spend more time student teaching and observing experienced teachers.

For experienced teachers, the principals surveyed were mostly likely to cite instructional effectiveness as the greatest professional challenge. That includes staying on top of curriculum changes and new teaching methods, as well as adjusting to state and federal standards and tests.

However, asked what is the greatest challenge in retaining teachers, nearly half of the principals simply pointed to low pay. “Lifestyle issues,” such as retirement and relocation, came in second.

In perhaps the report’s most complex finding, 60 percent of the principals said they are opposed to higher rates of pay for teachers in shortage subjects such as math and science, even while 56 percent agreed that such differential pay would attract more qualified candidates. The researchers surmise that school leaders are simply hesitant to take on this “potentially volatile issue.”

On the whole, the principals rated “word of mouth” and area colleges as the best sources for recruiting new teachers, with lists of teacher candidates provided by the state or school district ranking considerably lower. However, the researchers found that low-income urban schools are far more dependent on official teacher-candidate lists than suburban or rural schools.

Recruitment sources may also have an effect on retention rates: The report presents some interesting data suggesting that teachers from local colleges may be more likely to stick with their initial schools of hire.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

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
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
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
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere
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
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class

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 Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP