As we work with hundreds of school and district leaders, we often hear that staff recruitment, training, and retention are among the greatest challenges they face. Leaders want to create environments that attract and inspire staff but often don’t know where to start changing their work culture. The Education Elements team is committed to supporting these leaders by sharing concrete practices and practical advice for improving their teacher retention.
To begin, we want to reshare our 8 Elements of Teacher Retention infographic, which highlights the eight key design elements we think need to be considered at a system level when re-imagining how your district can support teacher recruitment and retention.
Why is this work so important? The average person will work more than 90,000 hours in a lifetime. For most of us, work fills the majority of our waking hours, and yet Gallup reports that seventy percent of U.S. employees are disengaged at work. The cost of employee disengagement and turnover is enormous, for both individuals and organizations. This is especially true in the field of education. Tremendous effort and resources have been invested in improving K-12 employee engagement and retention, with minimal impact.
At Education Elements we believe teacher retention is one of the most challenging issues facing school districts today. And while thousands of hours and dollars have been invested in solving this problem, there is not a single or clear solution. We believe that external factors such as federal and state funding, changes in the cost of living, and local employment opportunities have a dramatic impact on teacher retention. And we believe that we can design internal innovations within these external constraints. We also fundamentally believe that teacher retention is closely linked to practices for teacher recruitment and training. Finally, we believe we need to bring in best practices for employee engagement and retention from other sectors if we are going to create meaningful and lasting change.
Read more articles in our teacher retention series:
Join us at the Teacher Retention Leadership Institute this December for resources and practices to recruit and retain teachers. Based on best practices for employee engagement from inside and outside the education sector, the 2-day institute will provide actionable insights for district and school leaders. Save your spot today!
About Keara Mascareñaz
Keara is a Managing Partner at Education Elements who focuses on how to build and scale a culture of innovation in large systems, how to create national communities of collaboration, and how to keep laughing when pursuing daunting, large-scale changes. She was lucky to collaborate with co-authors Alexis Gonzales-Black and Anthony Kim to design the website and toolkit for The NEW School Rules: 6 Practices for Responsive and Thriving Schools.