Helping teachers teach in tough schools

It’s important to make high-poverty, low-performing schools satisfying places to work, concludes a new Education Trust report, Building and Sustaining Talent: Creating Conditions in High-Poverty Schools That Support Effective Teaching and Learning.

Despite widespread assumptions that students are the primary cause of teacher dissatisfaction, research shows that the culture of the school – particularly the quality of school leadership and level of staff cohesion – actually matters more to teachers’ job satisfaction and retention, particularly in high-poverty schools, than do the demographics of the students or teacher salaries.

The report looks at districts that are improving the teaching environment in challenging schools.


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  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    So teachers don’t mind “demographics” so much….
    Is demographics a code word for not doing homework, being disruptive, assaulting teachers and each other? You sure teachers don’t mind this? Or if “demographics” does not include the foregoing, why not? Is it to be ignored? My guess is that the school culture can address the foregoing, so that if the foregoing is bad, then it’s the administration which is at fault.
    That way, it’s not “demographics”, which would be embarrassing.
    FWIW, just spent four days with two teachers from a school with an increasing amount of the foregoing. Sure, the admin is taking it easy on the miscreants. But the fact is, there are miscreants, whether they’re dealt with harshly or given a wink and a nod.

  2. I think we need to consider less the environment for teaching and more the environment of learning. Our education system is broken. We’re not going to fix it with happy feeling statistics. That’s like applying a band aid to a hole in chest.

  3. The Cal above isn’t the usual Cal. That would be me.