Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Retention, Revisited

This year, we have 14 teachers. As of today, it looks like NINE are leaving next year, FIVE staying (including me, and I'm not really going to be here next year).

One is leaving to become head English coach for our region. One is leaving the classroom to become a coach at our school.

Four TFA/Teaching Fellows teachers are leaving because they have finished their commitments. One was only an okay teacher anyway and was encouraged pursue other things. One, on her way to being a very good teacher, decided to take a year off and decide between law and teaching. Another left his heart in California and is looking for teaching and ed-related jobs out there. And the fourth was considering taking an academic intervention services position but doesn't want to stay as a classroom teacher.

We had to cut art and foreign language positions because we are getting more children but less money next year. No one can make sense of this, least of all me. Both of the teachers leaving for this reason were new this year and will likely stay in teaching but will have to find other schools.

And it looks like at least one other teacher, with some experience, is looking for another school, I'm not sure why.

Those who are staying include me (sort of), an amazing teacher who will be starting her second full year next year, a career teacher, a TFA teacher who is staying for at least a third year, a Teaching Fellow starting his third year. And we are replacing some of the staff who are leaving with a combination of new and experienced teachers.

I don't blame TFA or the Teaching Fellows for this, by the way. For one thing, we aren't getting dozens and dozens of applicants who entered teaching the traditional way. In fact, closer to none. Here are the TFA/Fellows data for teachers who have worked at my school.

We have three teachers who started through these programs who have at least 6 years of experience and are staying in education in the NYC schools, although two of the three are becoming coaches. They were hand-picked by our LIS for coaching positions, for what that's worth.

Another teacher who started through TFA the year following me completed three years, then decided teaching wasn't really for her.

We have a crop of 7 teachers who started through TFA/Fellows two years ago and are finishing their commitments this year. Of those, 2 are staying in teaching at our school, 2 are leaving but might stay in education, 2 didn't find teaching a good match for their personalities, and I don't know about the seventh.

We have one new teaching fellow who has struggled this year, wants to stay in teaching, and is finding her position cut. That's really messy.



Blogger TMAO said...

We've had a total of 10 TFA teachers at my school, the first four years ago. Two are gone after two years. One is coming back for a fifth year (me). All four of our 2nd years are coming back for a third year, and all of our first years are returing. I think we've done okay as far as that goes.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Dorian Speed said...

Our little brand-newish school will double in size next year, but fewer than half of our current faculty members will be returning. So...carry the two, subtract x from 2x, take one shot...one-fourth of the faculty next year will have experience at this particular school.

In our case, though, it's been largely due to the fact that most of us who are leaving were part-time this year and hired sort of as a stopgap measure. And now I'm moving and the coach is getting married and the geometry teacher is going back into retirement and my husband is moving, too (fortunately, to the same place) - so, time to turn over a new leaf.

I think it will be a big challenge for the school next year. And it does make things kind of weird for recruitment purposes when I interact with prospective students and parents who want to know what we'll be doing in my class next year.

11:09 PM  
Blogger Barry said...

but the problem is recruitment!


12:32 PM  
Blogger Chaz said...

How come the suburbs don't have this problem? According to Randi we have achieved parity with them?

10:22 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

My jaw went slack when I read that. After a day and a half, just wow. That is awful. And you describe the kind of environment where maybe someone would like to stay.... Think of the poor teachers and kids stuck in the hellholes....

At the first high school where I worked, when I was there, turnover must have been around 20%/year. That's tough, but a school of 200 teachers can assimilate the newbies. But in a little tiny place?? Which there are now lots of? This is horrible.


1:20 AM  
Blogger Miss Malarkey said...

We have the opposite problem in my school- teachers who we wish would leave, but won't. I wish my principal would make their lives a little harder; maybe they'd take the hint and either start trying or go.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:40 AM  
Blogger Jac Chan said...


9:23 PM  

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