I have many job references I fill out this time of year. As someone who has moved often early on in my career I know the feeling from their side, but from the side staying it is tough also…
Why are these teachers leaving?
Why don’t we work to retain those who leave? At least an earnest questionnaire to find out why someone is leaving, it might reveal areas for improvement for our schools. Are schools able/willing to do that? I think schools are able, but I am not sure if they are willing to ask for that information. I think it is more likely that a supervisor, such as a Principal might ask for/receive that information. Even teachers retiring would have some good perspective on how to improve teacher retention.
Some teachers might have been testing the career waters. We still want to know what overwhelmed them and made them decide they could make an easier living do something else. What about those teachers who were effective and passionate? Those are the canaries to our coal mines.
Instead of leaving, could the effective and passionate teachers be channeled into teaching jobs which are not hostage to data-driven routines? Maybe they are too passionate to stay, maybe it is too emotional for them to watch children not reaching their potential. However, if we ask, maybe we could retain a handful because of that passion. What a healthy challenge to the status quo to find places for overly passionate educators!
Why not embrace the fleeting nature of the school faculty?
Why not wildly embrace the fleeting nature of the school faculty? Why not develop who is on staff to their fullest, even if that might mean they eventually go somewhere based on what we have developed – because sometimes they go somewhere because of what we refuse to develop in them as well. At least we could have people engaged, excited, and currently working on being the best educator they can be right then, regardless of if they leave at the end of this year….
Because people are always leaving at the end of the year…. leaving schools, states, and some times the profession.
Yet, we have who we have right now. Why not develop the heck out of them?!?
What are you willing to leave at the end of this year?
It is not just people who leave. Sometimes as we transform our teaching process we leave practices behind each year.
What can you leave at the end of this year?