Research Roundup: Select & Support

Recent reports highlight the importance of induction programs on early career teachers.
Compiled by Linda Fitch
Principal, March/April 2019. Volume 98, Number 4.

Good help is hard to find in almost every industry, but the unique stresses that affect teachers in elementary and middle schools make it particularly difficult to attract and keep the people most likely to make a positive impact on students and schools.

Hiring is often just the beginning, though: It’s typically the support schools provide to new teachers that ensures career longevity and job satisfaction—factors that can, in turn, enhance teacher effectiveness in supporting student learning. Induction, mentoring, and professional development initiatives go a long way toward taking teachers from good to great.

Check out the following resources for details on early career support and other issues to consider when seeking to improve your recruitment and retention efforts.

Early Career Attrition

Early career teachers surveyed in New South Wales, Australia, say that many issues they face remain intractable or unresolved, according to “The Experiences of Early Career Teachers: New Initiatives and Old Problems,” even though their employing authority mandates the provision of mentors and additional support.
Schuck, S., Aubusson, P., Buchanan, J., Varadharajan, M., & Burke, P.F. (2018). Professional Development in Education. Read the full report here: bit.ly/2BFR6lt

Factors of school environment such as workload, control, recognition, and sense of community have a marked effect on beginning teachers’ psychological health, attitude toward the job, and classroom behavior, says “Committed, Inspiring, and Healthy Teachers: How Do School Environment and Motivational Factors Facilitate Optimal Functioning at Career Start?”
Fernet, C., Trépanier, S.-G., Austin, S., & Levesque-Côté, J. (2016). Teaching and Teacher Education. Read the full report here: bit.ly/​2Q4zjgs

Early career teacher attrition results from conflicts between personal factors such as burnout and contextual factors such as support and salary, says “Early Career Teacher Attrition: Intentions of Teachers Beginning.” A survey of second- and third-year teachers in Alberta, Canada, offers new insights into sustaining teachers’ personal and professional knowledge to encourage longevity.
Clandinin, D.J., Long, J., Schaefer, L., Downey, C.A., Steeves, P., Pinnegar, E., and Wnuk, S. (2015). Teaching Education. Read the full report here: bit.ly/2AwPqZG

Early career teachers (ECTs) who intend to leave the profession place greater value on shared resources, cooperative teaching and planning, off-site discussions about classroom management and programming, and professional voice, says “How Do Early Career Teachers Value Different Types of Support? A Scale-Adjusted Latent Class Choice Model.” In contrast, ECTs who enter the profession with plans for a long career place great value on feedback from experienced teachers.
Burke, P.F., Aubusson, P.J., Schuck, S.R., Buchanan, J.D., & Prescott, A.E. (2015). Teaching and Teacher Education. Read the full report here: bit.ly/2zwihOe

Induction Planning

The New Teacher Center offers standards for coaching, mentoring, and induction to help train and retain early career teachers across a variety of program contexts. Its “Instructional Coaching Program and Practice Standards,” “Mentor Practice Standards,” and “Teacher Induction Program Standards” define the fundamental elements of high-quality strategies to boost teacher effectiveness, improve teacher retention, strengthen teacher leadership, increase student learning, and support equitable outcomes for learners.
New Teacher Center (2018). Read the full report here: bit.ly/2E4F2MT

Teachers who participate in North Carolina’s New Teacher Support Program are more likely to return to the same schools, says “Connecting Teacher Preparation to Teacher Induction: Outcomes for Beginning Teachers in a University-Based Support Program in Low-Performing Schools.” Developed by the state university system with the help of $7.7 million in Race to the Top funding, the program continues to produce positive results in retaining teachers.
Bastian, K.C., & Marks, J.T. (2017). American Educational Research Journal. Read the full report here: unc.live/2Q2ILBa

Receiving induction support in the first year of teaching produces lower rates of teacher migration and attrition, says “Does New Teacher Induction Really Improve Retention?” Levels of induction support are fairly consistent among different kinds of teachers and different kinds of schools but higher for teachers who are black and who work in predominantly ESL schools.
Ronfeldt, M., & McQueen, K. (2017). Journal of Teacher Education. Read the full report here: bit.ly/2zw0SFi

The Policy Snapshot “Supporting New Teachers: What Do We Know About Effective State Induction Policies?” says that state policymakers must consider including added supports for special educators and teachers
of English-language learners when attempting to build a comprehensive approach to teacher induction.
Potemski, A., & Matlach, L. (2014). American Institutes for Research, Center on Great Teachers and Leaders. Read the full report here: bit.ly/​2BFvTrQ

Mentoring

Mentoring is key to changing the education system in the United States, says “Encouraging Retention of New Teachers Through Mentoring Strategies.” A review of current literature finds that professional mentoring can not only improve retention among new teachers, but also encourage transformation, enhance student achievement, and produce additional positive effects.

Callahan, J. (2016). Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin. Read the full report here: bit.ly/2TXr4Bm

Linda Fitch is a librarian with Education Northwest, a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming teaching and learning, located in Portland, Oregon.


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