From year to year, teachers improve their skills and learn new and better ways to reach their students. Teacher retention creates a safe and supportive learning environment where students can thrive.
Experienced educators bring plenty of positives to the classroom. They have histories of working with a variety of students with different learning styles, and they’ve found ways to encourage and challenge them.
Teachers with long tenures can have big impacts on their students’ social and emotional learning. They can:
- Provide continuity and stability, which can help students feel secure and supported.
- Build relationships with students and develop an understanding of their individual needs.
- Serve as mentors and models.
- Foster a sense of community in the classroom.
Deeper understandings of their subject areas mean long-serving teachers become better at explaining core concepts and creating lesson plans that build upon each other throughout the school year.
A quality teacher retention program can have a direct impact on the instruction students receive while also increasing well-being. The benefits boost learning and achievement in ways that can reverberate for years to come.
Consistency and School Climate
Learning involves change, and that can be hard for anyone. In addition, students can be dealing with issues that affect their ability to learn:
- depression and anxiety
- gender questions
- racism and misogyny
- food insecurity
- ability uncertainty
- disabilities or chronic illnesses
A teacher isn’t meant to be a mental health clinician or social worker, but they can turn the classroom into a safe place by creating a caring environment and sense of well-being. These practices may include:
- normalizing the need for help
- actively listening
- embedding courses with well-being practices
At every grade level, good teaching involves developing relationships with students. Even though high school seniors are on the cusp of adulthood, they’re often facing uncertainty about what the future might bring, so they appreciate thoughtful guidance from a trusted teacher.
By building and maintaining a quality teacher retention program, school districts provide their students with much-needed stability and teachers who’ve invested the time to learn about their individual needs.
Experienced teachers also understand the importance of quality instruction when it comes to motivating students. Competent teachers are organized and resourceful. They use technology in academically stimulating ways and connect the material to students’ daily life.
By setting high expectations for their students and providing the necessary support, teachers encourage students to succeed. A strong school climate means academic rigor and social-emotional supports are shared values throughout the campus.
A quality teacher retention program understands the social nature of teaching. Experienced teachers help each other become better at their jobs, and they also serve as mentors for new teachers.
The combination of supportive leadership, teacher collaboration, high expectations for students, and a collective commitment to support student learning creates a virtuous cycle that directly affects student development at every step.
Superior instruction doesn’t happen overnight. Teachers learn from year to year and become better at differentiated instruction that pushes high achievers and remedial students to higher levels of learning and achievement.
Strategies for Student Well-being
There is a difference between knowing something in an intellectual way and having deep, working knowledge. Schools with high teacher retention have staff members who understand how to apply the steps required to create safe and supportive learning environments:
- productive collaboration between teachers
- social-emotional behavioral supports
- high expectations
- parent engagement
A quality teacher retention program means the school district’s best classroom managers return year after year. In order to maintain discipline in the classroom, exceptional teachers are quick to provide plenty of positive feedback.
Praise is a powerful motivator, but it’s a fact of life that humans are far more likely to remember a negative comment than a positive one. The ratio varies. Some say the optimal ratio is five positive comments for every negative comment. Others say it’s three to one.
Any student trying to learn a new subject or topic will make mistakes along the way. Veteran classroom leaders know to consistently praise effort as a way to coach students through difficult material.
Engagement is crucial when creating meaningful learning experiences. By taking steps to develop a sense of trust, teachers are able to effectively guide students through difficult lessons.
Again, the harder the lesson, the more chances to get things wrong. Uncertainty looms large. Experienced teachers get it, so they create an atmosphere that allows their students to make mistakes, examine them, and correct them.
Long-serving teachers know students don’t just learn in the classroom. Extracurricular activities provide students with opportunities to use what they’ve been taught in real-world ways. Music classics, academic clubs, and sports also have their own lessons to teach:
- individual and group responsibility
- physical strength and endurance
- sense of shared purpose
Attending a football game or watching a school play is crucial to forming relationships with students, who know when teachers are truly interested in their lives outside of the classroom.
Teachers can also take steps to help students navigate difficult days and the sometimes troublesome emotions that crop up. By modeling a calm, centered approach to day-to-day business, teachers can show students to:
- Set intentions for the day.
- Take a deep breath to anchor themselves.
- Check in and share feelings.
- Practice an attitude of gratitude.
- Cultivate compassion.
A crucial aspect of compassion is accepting students as they are. That means creating a culture of respect and inclusion in the classroom. If students see that everyone in the class is treated equally, they’re encouraged to do the same. Great things can happen when students truly believe that it’s their classroom.
Safety as Part of a Quality Teacher Retention Program
A comprehensive school safety plan helps create a healthy environment for learning. It also shows respect for teachers on staff and encourages retention. School safety should be a top priority for everyone, and it goes beyond structural changes to make schools more secure.
A positive school climate can affect grades and student achievement while also preventing behavior that could lead to violence. A school that is proactive with its anti-bullying policies creates a sense of safety that extends to students and faculty. A straightforward approach to bullying can include:
- high expectations for academic achievement and class conduct
- rewards for positive behavior
- clear rules and consequences for physical and verbal attacks
- consistent enforcement from teachers and staff
- support for teachers and staff in managing behavior crises
In addition, mental health resources and counseling can teach students valuable coping strategies that encourage them to deal with stress in productive ways.
A quality teacher retention program can also include technology, such as the CENTEGIX CrisisAlert wearable badge. It’s a discreet way to provide teachers and students with an extra layer of safety.
It provides nearly instantaneous help for a range of potential issues, including student elopement. Time is always of the essence when students wander off. The CrisisAlert wearable badge makes sure the search starts as soon as possible, which protects students and their teachers’ frazzled nerves.
Teachers get into the profession because they want to make a difference in the lives of young people. Once on the job, they find out it’s not always easy.
When administrators work with their faculty to create a culture of respect, inclusivity, and acceptance, everyone on campus can feel included and supported. It builds an environment where students are willing to learn, and teachers are glad to return year after year.
Learn how CrisisAlert can effectively protect your students and staff by seeing it in action. Connect with a CENTEGIX Education Specialist today.
CENTEGIX is the leader in incident response solutions. Our CrisisAlert platform is the fastest and easiest way for staff to call for help in any emergency, from the everyday to the extreme. CENTEGIX creates safer spaces by innovating technology to empower and protect people, and leaders nationwide trust our safety solutions to provide peace of mind. To learn more about CENTEGIX, visit www.centegix.com.