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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:50 PM

The Real Reason So Many Teachers Quit Their Jobs

What's the reason so many new teachers quit the profession or move to a different school? The heavy workload? Low salary? A paucity of classroom resources? An absence of autonomy? The "always-on," continually demanding nature of the work? None of the above. The main reason is their principals.

To find out what factors influence novice teachers' decisions to leave the teaching profession, Peter Youngs, associate professor of educational policy at Michigan State University and Ben Pogodzinski of Wayne State University, working with two other colleagues at Michigan State, surveyed 184 beginning teachers of grades one through eight in eleven large school districts in Michigan and Indiana. Their study was recently published in Elementary School Journal.

The researchers found that the most important factor influencing commitment was the beginning teacher's perception of how well the school principal worked with the teaching staff as a whole. This was a stronger factor than the adequacy of resources, the extent of a teacher's administrative duties, the manageability of his or her workload, or the frequency of professional-development opportunities.

These findings are especially significant because high turnover rate among new teachers is a big problem. Roughly a third of teachers in their first two years either change schools or quit teaching altogether. This ends up being costly to school districts -- forcing them to recruit, hire, and train new teachers. And spending all that time getting newcomers up to speed also limits schools' ability to implement new reforms. This is especially problematic in low-income urban schools that have difficulties attracting and holding onto teachers in the first place.

more ... http://www.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2012/11/real-reason-so-many-teachers-quit-their-jobs/3927/

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Reply The Real Reason So Many Teachers Quit Their Jobs (Original post)
proud2BlibKansan Nov 2012 OP
1StrongBlackMan Nov 2012 #1
SheilaT Nov 2012 #2
iemitsu Nov 2012 #3
Smarmie Doofus Nov 2012 #4
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #5
TrogL Nov 2012 #6
Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #7

Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:57 PM

1. That is not especially surprising ...

seeing as that (i.e., The Boss) is the Number One reason for all workers leaving or changing jobs.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:07 PM

2. Almost every teacher or former teacher I've ever spoken to on the topic

of their working conditions has mentioned the principal.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:22 PM

3. And I thought it was the discovery that all those vacation days off

are really spent evaluating student work and preparing to return to class after the holiday. Or the complaints of family members because you can't participate in any Sunday events since you are always preparing for work the next day.
Personally, I have always been so busy that I rarely knew or cared what the principal was doing or how they related to staff.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:05 PM

4. We're attracting the *wrong* people into admin for the *wrong* reasons.

>>>According to Youngs, one obvious upshot of this research is that training programs for principals in university or professional-development programs need to emphasize interpersonal skills as well as leadership skills. "The focus," he said, "would be on how principals could increase their knowledge of setting a healthy, productive school climate and understanding ways that their actions and leadership can impact new teachers' attitudes and outcomes.">>>>

People go into admin... in the vast majority of cases... because they don't like teaching and/or they want/need more money and don't want to "work their way" up the pay scale. I doubt that you can "teach" people so motivated the social skills, ethics, etc, etc. that an effective principal requires.

It's no accident that $$$ reformers want principals w. *no* teaching experience ( and , of course, no social skills and no ethics).

A better way of undermining this trend ( of abominable principals) would involve promoting "master teachers" after extensive experience in the trenches ( i.e. 10 yrs or more) and require them to keep "one foot" in the profession by carrying a part-time teaching load. This should make everyone happy: it gets rid of bad teachers ( They don't want to hang around for 10 years.) AND bad principals.

I think most people ( without an agenda) would see the logic of that. State legislators: are you listening?




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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:10 PM

5. The really good teachers I've spoken to and who later changed schools or

quit, cite the "politics" in the school.

One of my daughter's greatest teachers, Mrs. Poe, an accomplished journalist and author who taught English to fourth and fifth graders, gave my daughter sage advice: "you know you're right, but you don't know how to jump through the hoops. Learn to jump through the hoops and you'll do okay."

Politics. And racism.

I believe Mrs Poe was referring to her personal experience with a very contentious school administration (mostly Mexican-American) and a spineless principle (Caucasian, and who was later demoted to Vice Principle in a mostly Mexican-American school district) who did nothing to improve the palpable antagonistic atmosphere there.

Right after my daughter was promoted to sixth grade with a high GPA (nearly straight A's - thanks to Mrs. Poe), the good woman (even if she was a Republican) requested a transfer to another, less contentious elementary school in the same district. She's still there today.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:40 PM

6. Mine were both sociopaths

One got fired in the middle of the year when the staff revolted. At a different school he spent two years yelling at me about stuff my predecessor had done.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:36 PM

7. Do we really need principals?

I'm an exception in that I get along with mine (there are three, as I teach at an SLC school) and they are all about consensus. However, that's really rare.

What do they do that couldn't be done by teachers given release time for some of those duties?

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