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Fostering Relationship To Increase Teacher Retention In Public Schools

788 words - 4 pages

Many states such as New England have begun to experience the effects of teacher shortages in the areas of Math and Science (Fowler, 2009). The teacher attrition rates have become a problem to many administrators and educators with teachers leaving at twice the rate of nurses and five times the rate of lawyers. Prior work by Ingersol and Perda, have revealed that the annual attrition rate has risen by 19-26% (Jennifer, 2010). As a result, educators spend more money in fast track programs that many researchers believe do not solve the problem. Instead, they contribute to the issue by bringing more inexperienced teachers into the classroom. Despite the promising results of professional developmental programs, these programs can be very costly and can take time to determine their full usefulness. The author believes there are alternatives that do not require costly techniques but instead models and actions that education administration can adopt to increase teacher retention. Instead of focusing on the reasons teachers leave the field, the author takes a different approach by examining the dynamics that cause teachers to stay in the field pass their five year mark.
This is clearly a theory-based research due to the use of the ground theory which involves the development of a theory through a body of data. The study was qualitative in nature, based on inductive reasoning and subjects were matched (criteria of 4- 6 years of teaching experience). Although individuals were picked randomly and attempts were made to avoid bias, there were no controls involved in the design. Participants for this study were made up of teachers chosen from several elementary schools in a Midwestern city. The sample size consisted of 378 individuals that were narrowed to 8 people by case sampling methods where the author selectively chose cases typical to the sample population at hand. Data was analyzed through the form of interviews, written documents and observations. There were 2 administered individual interviews to explore teacher’s perceptions, experience and feelings. In addition, there were focal groups which consisted of group interviews where participants could share experiences and show social interactions between each other. The observational data was accomplished via observing the faculty meetings and interactions between teachers and the principal.
Despite the fact that the teacher individual’s experiences varied, there were several similar factors that caused the teachers to remain in the field of...

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