8 Elements For Improving Teacher Retention

Education Elements

By Keara Duggan

The average person will work more than 90,000 hours in a lifetime. For most of us, work fills the majority of our waking hours, and yet Gallup reports that seventy percent of U.S. employees are disengaged at work. The cost of employee disengagement and turnover is enormous, for both individuals and organizations. This is especially true in the field of education. Tremendous effort and resources have been invested in improving K-12 employee engagement and retention, with minimal impact. The majority of district leaders I work with believe teacher retention is the greatest challenge they face.

At Education Elements we also believe teacher retention is one of the most challenging issues facing school districts today. And while thousands of hours and dollars have been invested in solving this problem, there is not a single or clear solution. We believe that external factors such as federal and state funding, changes in the cost of living, and local employment opportunities have a dramatic impact on teacher retention. And we believe that we can design internal innovations within these external constraints. We also fundamentally believe that teacher retention is closely linked to practices for teacher recruitment and training. Finally, we believe we need to bring in best practices for employee engagement and retention from other sectors if we are going to create meaningful and lasting change.

This fall we’ll be publishing a series of blog posts, infographics, and white papers related to teacher retention. To kick off of this series, we want to share a new infographic, which highlights the eight key design elements we think need to be considered at a system-level when re-imagining how your district can support teacher recruitment and retention.

Look for the next article in our series this September. In the meantime, check out a few of our favorite resources related to teacher retention:

  1. 3 Ways To Get Millennials To Teach, U.S. News & World Report
  2. The Recipe for Happy, Innovative Teachers, District Administration Leadership Institute
  3. Diversifying the Teaching Profession: How to Recruit and Retain Teachers of Color, Learning Policy Institute
  4. The Irreplaceables: Understanding The Real Retention Crisis in America’s Urban Schools, The New Teacher Project
  5. Charter School’s Latest Innovation — Keeping Teachers Happy, The 74 Million

Originally published at www.edelements.com.

About Keara Duggan

Keara is a Partner at Education Elements who focuses on how to build and scale a culture of innovation in large systems, how to create national communities of collaboration, and how to keep laughing when pursuing daunting, large-scale changes. She was lucky to collaborate with co-authors Alexis Gonzales-Black and Anthony Kim to design the website and toolkit for The NEW School Rules: 6 Practices for Responsive and Thriving Schools.

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