Changing school culture can impact teacher retention, student success
- After Jeremy Baugh, principal of Lew Wallace School 107 in Indianapolis, implemented the Opportunity Culture initiative, he saw the school culture, teacher retention rates and student achievement improve, District Administration reports.
- In 2014, when Baugh came to the school, the teacher retention rate was low, only 22% of kindergarten students were achieving at grade level and the school was ripe for takeover by the state.
- After implementing the Opportunity Culture initiative, which pays excellent teachers more to serve as multi-classroom leaders mentoring several teachers, 97% of kindergartners were achieving at grade level and first year teachers had a 97% retention rate.
Many school leaders are faced with consequences of low teacher retention rates, especially during this time of year when they spend time and money recruiting new teachers and pouring over test data that reflects teacher dissatisfaction. Low teacher retention rates affect student achievement and staff morale, so finding a solution to the issue is well worth the effort involved. According to an article published by the New York State Department of Education, “Teachers leave when they encounter environments that lack essential professional supports." These include support from school leaders, structures and working conditions indicate they are respected and valued, and strong induction and mentoring programs.
Solutions such as Opportunity Culture, promoted by Public Impact, help solve these issues by offering a solid support structure that offers mentoring for new or inexperienced teachers as well as a way for strong teachers to advance in the profession and be rewarded for their efforts. Often, teachers with excellent track records are only promoted by becoming part of an executive team or central office staff, a situation that takes them out of the classroom. But an increasing number of school leaders are seeing the value of teacher leadership while keeping them in the position where they have been successful. The multi-classroom leader model does this and is showing evidence of increasing student achievement as well.
- District Administration Indianapolis school principal changes staff culture