Staff and teacher retention is key to success. Unfortunately, teacher retention is something that many school leaders struggle with. If you are struggling with teacher retention, you are not the only one. According to Education Week, “Forty-four percent of new teachers leave teaching within five years.”
When you factor in everything that happened in 2020 (and is continuing), teacher retention may be an even bigger issue. CNBC reports, “77% of educators are working more today than a year ago, 60% enjoy their job less and 59% do not feel secure in their school district’s health and safety precautions. Roughly 27% say they are considering leaving their job, retiring early or taking a leave of absence because of the pandemic.”
In addition to being an issue with having enough teachers for your students, it is also a problem for your school community at large. If teachers come and go every school year, families never get a chance to build relationships with you, you don’t get to help them grow in their profession, and students don’t enjoy a sense of familiarity. And, let’s be honest, parents like to hear that teachers have remained at the same school for many years. That makes a good impression.
Here are 10 ways to improve staff and teacher retention and get them to sign a contract for the 2021-2022 school year.
1. Be Supportive
Staff and teacher retention begins with your support. A survey from the Center for Teacher Quality found “that support from colleagues and administrators is one of the most significant factors in a teacher’s decision to stay or leave the profession.” Listen to your teachers and staff so you can better understand what they need to find success in the classroom. If they feel supported, they are less likely to leave.
2. Communicate Often
Don’t have a closed-door policy for your staff. Instead, encourage your teachers and childcare staff to speak with you regularly. In addition to making them feel comfortable reaching out to you at any time, schedule regular check-ins.
3. Purchase Much-Needed Supplies
According to a USA Today report, “Ninety-four percent of American public school teachers reported paying for school supplies out of their own pocket.” Most people don’t enter education for the salary, but at the same time, they shouldn’t have to pay for resources or supplies they need. Schools that provide teachers with the tools they need for success will have better teacher retention rates.
4. Encourage Work-Life Balance
Everyone knows teachers don’t stop working when the students leave the classroom. Most teachers spend their evenings, weekends, and summers planning, grading, and preparing. However, when school administrators add even more to their already busy schedules, it ruins their work-life balance and causes teacher burnout. Instead, look for ways to encourage your staff to have a healthy work-life balance, such as providing adequate planning time.
5. Show Appreciation
Appreciation goes a long way when it comes to teacher retention. If your staff doesn’t feel appreciated, they won’t give their best. And there is a big chance they will leave your school or daycare center for another one believing they will be more appreciated there. It is as simple as saying, “Thank you” and acknowledging their hard work.
6. Let Them Teach
If your admin or leadership involves micromanaging, take it down a notch. You hired professionals, so treat them as such. When leadership micromanages, it makes educators feel like they are trusted or respected, which causes them to quit.
7. Ask for Post Year Evaluations
If your school or childcare facility is struggling with staff or teacher retention, you need to take a hard look at yourself. What are you doing that you could do differently to improve teacher retention? One way to figure this out is to ask your staff to complete an anonymous end of school year evaluation.
8. Embrace New Staff
Bring new staff into the fold as soon as possible. Not only will this help you avoid new and old cliques forming, but it will also help new teachers form collaborative relationships. According to Recruiting.com, “When teachers did not have access to collaborative relationships, 1 out of every 5 left the profession. However, when schools provided opportunities for teachers to collaborate with one another, their teacher retention rates increased.”
9. Promote Community
In addition to collaboration, community is also important. When colleagues form friendships with one another, they are happier at work and less likely to leave. Therefore, look for opportunities to encourage team building and bonding.
10. Mentor Them
Lastly, provide opportunities for your staff to learn and grow. Don’t just throw them in a classroom. Instead, find a mentor or coach to guide them through their first year(s) at your school or childcare center.
As you work to support your teachers and school staff, let TUIO support you. TUIO makes your job easier with effortless online billing for schools and childcare centers.