It’s no secret that teacher retention is a challenge not just in Australia but across the globe. In 2019, the House Standing Committee on Employment, Education began a federal inquiry into the state of the teaching profession to look at methods for retaining teachers in Australian schools. The impetus for this study was the fact that, between 2015 and 2017, university Initial Teacher Education course applications had dropped by up to 40%. This is a huge problem and the impact is being felt now with massive shortages across the country. Here are five tips that will help you retain your best teachers and help with continuity of learning.
Tip #01: Offer Professional Development Opportunities
One of the best ways to retain your teachers is to offer them professional development opportunities. This can be in the form of attending conferences, participating in online courses, or even taking on special assignments such as mentoring new teachers. Professional development allows educators to learn new strategies and keep up with the latest teaching methods. It also helps them feel appreciated and valued, which can be a major factor in deciding to stay with a school or not.
Tip #02: Show Appreciation
It’s always important to show your appreciation for your teachers. One way to do this is by thanking them for their hard work. Teachers are often overworked and underpaid, so any little bit of appreciation goes a long way.
Tip #03: Let Them Teach
One of the biggest complaints teachers have is that they’re not allowed to teach. This can be due to restrictive curricula, micromanagement from school leaders, or a lack of autonomy. Allowing your teachers to teach allows them to engage with their students and helps them feel like they’re making a difference. It also gives them a sense of ownership and builds a connection with the school community.
Tip #04: Create a Positive Work Environment
A positive work environment is key to retaining your teachers. This includes creating a supportive team atmosphere, providing adequate resources, and offering reasonable workloads. It’s also important to have a clear vision and mission for the school, as this will help educators feel like they’re part of something larger than themselves.
Tip #05: Give Them a Voice
One of the best ways to show that you value your teachers is to give them a voice. This means listening to their ideas and feedback, and taking them into account when making decisions about the school. It also means giving them a say in how the school is run and what policies are implemented. Teachers will feel more valued and appreciated if they’re given a voice in the school community.
These are just five tips for retaining your best teachers. There are many other things you can do to create a positive and supportive environment, such as offering job security, providing mentorship programs, and establishing career advancement opportunities. By following these tips, you can help ensure continuity of learning in your school and maintain the high standards you’ve set.