How to keep good teachers in teaching

What keeps effective teachers in the classroom?

A Ford Foundation survey, in partnership with The Center for Teaching Quality and WestEd, concludes that “both quality teaching and teacher retention are fostered through professional development, effective teacher networks, and teacher leadership.”

* 64% of teachers said they joined teacher networks because they “wanted a professional community,” which far outshone any other reason for joining networks.

* 80% reported that network participation encouraged them to remain in the classroom, while 90% shared that it improved their teaching practice.

Supportive colleagues “was the only school culture factor significantly associated with teachers’ long-term retention,” while “collaboration was by far the dominant factor in retaining teacher leaders.”

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Comments

  1. Roger Sweeny says:

    I don’t understand. The last paragraph says:

    Supportive colleagues “was the only school culture factor significantly associated with teachers’ long-term retention,” while “collaboration was by far the dominant factor in retaining teacher leaders.”

    But earlier on we are told that:

    “both quality teaching and teacher retention are fostered through professional development …”

    Both can’t be true. I’m guessing the former is correct. Indeed, to the extent that official “professional development” is time wasting and mind numbing drek, it probably does more chase good teachers out than to keep them in.

  2. Roger, you’re right. Most professional development is a way for the administration to jerk the chain, to remind the wearer that the choke collar is still working.

    Yesterday I read that my district plans to require that all teachers ask permission in advance every time they leave campus during their prep period.

    Is having tenure worth being treated like dirt?

    I wonder.

  3. Pay them more and give them autonomy. That will happen when Hell freezes over, which is why I’m getting out now!

  4. Nobody really wants good teachers. Let’s stop kidding ourselves. It’s all lip service.

  5. Correction: As President & CEO of Teachers Network (www.teachersnetwork.org), I wanted to point out a correction on earlier blog post(s): specifically, the survey that is referred to, “What Keeps Effective Teachers in the Classroom,” was conducted by TEACHERS NETWORK (a national non-profit organization supporting teachers)—UNDER A GRANT FROM THE FORD FOUNDATION—including responses from over 1,200 teachers who have participated in one or more of our programs during Teachers Network’s three-decade-long history. All of the comprehensive research findings—which were evaluated by Dr. Barnett Berry and his team at the Center for Teaching Quality—as well as a series of companion policy briefs (i.e., on Collaboration, Teacher Leadership, and Teacher Training & Professional development), and supplemented by a wrap-around paper written by Dr. Ken Futernick of West Ed (i.e., Incompetent Teachers or Dysfunctional Systems?: Reframing the Debate on Teacher Quality and Accountability)—are available on Teachers Network’s website at: http://www.teachersnetwork.org/effectiveteachers/Research.htm.

    Teachers Network certainly encourages people to visit the site and look at the research (and so much more) firsthand—and stay tuned for more updates!