Friday, May 1, 2015

Astonishing Losses: What Happens To Our New Teachers

From last month's Kentucky Board of Education meeting, the slide below deserves some attention.
It shows that for every 100 teachers who were new hires of the 2009-10 school year:
  • 18 were out of Kentucky teaching by the next year
  • 12 more were gone by the year after that
  • 7  were teaching in a different district by their second year
  • 7  were in the same district, but at a different school
  • 56 were still at their original schools
That's a huge dropout rate and a huge amount of moving around for those who stay in the profession!

For teacher preparation programs, it brings up questions like these:
  • Do we equip our graduates with the best skills for a sound start in teaching careers?
  • Do we give them a meaningful understanding of the work they'll be taking on, so they aren't surprised and and disappointed by the actual experience?
  • Do we recruit students with a deep capacity to engage children and learning with passion and effectiveness, or are we just taking everyone who knocks on our door?
  • Do we ask students and new graduates what parts of our program are helpful, and take action to improve the things that don't work?
 For school leaders, it raises other issues, including:
  • Are we giving our new teachers the best support we can provide?
  • Are we offering the kind of working environment and professional community that makes them want to stay on our team?
  • Are we asking our recent hires (both those who stay and those who leave) what we can do better?
For Kentuckians generally, the overarching puzzle may be:
  • What must we change in order to attract and keep young people of energy and talent in this important work?
Source note: the slide is from the Kentucky Teacher Equity Plan Power Point that was part of the April 1, 2015, KBE Agenda.

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