Yesterday we mentioned a new report by the teacher-recruitment group TNTP that criticizes school leaders for not doing enough to keep the best teachers in schools. While we’re not sure how it’s playing with administrators (though probably not all that well), the report has struck a chord with teachers.
Miss Eyre, a unionized teacher, was surprised to find herself in agreement with TNTP, which has been critical of policies supported by the unions. Writing on the NYC Educator blog, Miss Eyre explains that the last time she “switched schools, it was totally due to school culture going down the drain.” She goes on:
I concur with the TNTP report (yikes, but yeah): You can do a lot to keep your "irreplaceables" if you're a principal or a superintendent—you know, folks like me and NYC Educator and you!!!—without spending a lot of money. (I mean, money is always nice, though. I won't turn it down.) What means a lot is respect, and support, and gratitude, and trust, and constructive feedback. I don't get paid a dime more for being at my current school than I would if I had stayed put, but you can bet I'm a lot happier and a lot less likely to leave. It's all about being in a good place.
In an opinion piece for the New York Post, meanwhile, 10-year veteran teacher Lori Wheal writes that she is leaving teaching because her “career is stuck in neutral, with no clear path of advancement.” To support her point, she cites the TNTP finding that teachers with advancement opportunities tend to stay longer than those without them, which she sees as an accurate portrayal of the landscape.
Some administrators are likely to push back on the report by arguing, for example, that they face multiple pressures of their own and that many of the factors contributing to teacher attrition are out of there hands. But what’s your view? Could principals and other school leaders do more to make teachers want to stay in their job? If so, what?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.