Hiring new teachers is a key part of any school administrator's job. However, making sure the staff members you already have are happy in their positions is incredibly important for your school's growth and continuity. Here are some tips for retaining teachers and promoting successful learning in your school:
1. Show teachers how, not just what
The ASCD, formerly called the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, used data from the 2004-2005 Teacher Follow-up Survey from the National Center for Education Statistics to find that many educators learn what to teach but not how. While college students study to become teachers, they spend time understanding different learning styles, ways to create lesson plans and curricula and even how to promote successful standardized testing. However, the ASCD study found many teachers would like more instruction on how to teach their particular material. Administrators can offer this education by providing opportunities for continued learning. This means attending teaching conferences, taking part in certifications and more. Not only will providing extended education opportunities make your school more competitive in the job market, but it will also better your teachers and therefore improve the student experience.
2. Supply competitive benefits
In any job, if an employer offers fewer benefits than others, it's tempting to leave and seek a position elsewhere. To help retain teachers at your school, stay on top of what options other educational institutions offer. Making small changes, like additional days off, more sick time, better parental leave options or even nicer lounge furniture can all add up to make teachers want to stay. Network with other administrators to see what benefits they offer new hires. Compare these options with what your school provides to teachers, and then see what your budget allows in terms of changes that would help you retain teachers.
3. Offer promotions and raises
Many people have career aspirations of rising through the ranks in whatever industry suits their profession. Teachers don't often have many chances to earn promotions or raises based on performance. Instead, they earn tenure by being at a particular school for a long period of time. When teachers leave a position and take one at a different locale, they likely will lose their seniority. Knowing this may impact whether educators decide to seek employment elsewhere. You can prevent this move by providing raises and promotions. While a teacher is a teacher no matter what, they can earn small rewards like better parking spots or not having to come to certain school functions. Offering more leadership and professional growth opportunities are also great options.Teachers can become department heads or leaders in their grades. Teachers can also lead outreach efforts for their schools, which could mean an additional title. Plus, a raise every year for sticking around is always appreciated. Consider looking to your longer tenured teachers when making important educational decisions. They have been around and can offer insight into your possible changes.
4. Promote collaboration between schools
Teachers do not just educate students. They must constantly learn and grow along with their topics and technology. To keep your staff engaged in their jobs and help them evolve, foster community between schools. Talk with other nearby administrators and host teaching get-togethers for networking. Educators can attend workshops, learn ways to improve their teaching practices and more. Friendly competitions between schools, like seeing whose students can do the best at a science competition or which teachers can help their students raise standardized testing scores first, are also great ways to collaborate. Classes may even work together in person or via video chat to learn about certain subjects or topics and gain teamwork skills.
"Retaining good teachers starts with hiring."
5. Hire the right people
Retaining good teachers starts with hiring them in the first place. If you are bringing in staff members who don't quite fit with the school's goals, you'll have to fire them, or they may quit. Try using talent management software to make your recruiting and hiring process faster and more efficient. These programs can help administrators find the right candidates, track application documents and even manage existing employees. Using talent management software can greatly improve the teacher experience, as it is much easier to communicate between educators and administration with internal messaging, surveys and certifications. Looking for feedback from your current staff shows them that you value their opinions and their voices as educators. This instills loyalty, which may help you retain your teaching staff.