This investigation examines the issue of teacher retention in high needs schools. The issue of teacher retention is one of national concern. Teachers are leaving the profession at alarming numbers, approximately 33% leave the field in the first three years, and 50% leave in the first five. The situation is even more perilous in high needs schools where the rate of teacher attrition is 70% higher, particularly in high poverty areas or schools with large concentrations of students of color.
Research indicates that there are personal qualities and institutional factors that contribute to teacher retention, with principal leadership among the most salient factors related to teachers’ decisions as to whether to leave or remain in the profession. Utilizing the theoretical framework of Applied Critical Leadership, this study examined the personal qualities and institutional factors that contribute to teacher retention in high needs schools. This qualitative interview study interviewed 25 participants—14 teachers, and 11 principals—all of whom have worked in high needs schools. An optional reflective journal was provided for each participant for reflection after the interview.
This investigation found that the most salient personal qualities contributing to teacher retention in high needs schools were the ability to establish relationships, compassion and love, self-efficacy, having a sense of mission, and the X-factor. The institutional characteristics that most contributed to retention were salary, working conditions, and teacher education programs. Principal Leadership was found to be the most important factor in informing teacher retention in high needs schools.
|Commitee:||Symcox, Linda, Santamaria, Lorri|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Applied critical leadership, High needs schools, Principal leadership, Teacher attrition, Teacher retention|
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