Retention Is the New Recruitment and Other Teacher-Shortage Strategies
Edmentum welcomed Dr. Mark Benigni, superintendent of Meriden Public Schools in Connecticut; Kelly Coash-Johnson, executive director of the American Association of School Personnel Administrators (AASPA); and Dr. Alena Zachery-Ross, superintendent of Ypsilanti Community Schools in Michigan, for a virtual roundtable discussion on teacher recruitment and retention—the first virtual event in our “Perspectives” series.
Increasing teacher retention, recruiting educators, and decreasing educator burnout are all top priorities for school leaders heading into the new school year. In our virtual event, our speakers discussed their views on teacher shortages and shared their ideas on how to better serve educators to build a community that supports and respects educators—one where they’ll want to stay.
While all three of these education industry experts recognized that recruitment and retention are a major issue heading back to school, they all had positive mindsets and concrete methods they have used or seen to attract new teachers to the profession or retain those who were considering a different path. Here are a few highlights from their conversation:
Retention is the new recruitment.
Recruiting new talent and filling open positions is one thing, but if turnover is high, it can turn into trying to fill up a bucket with a hole in the bottom. Getting retention under control creates a more stable environment, where current and new staff can thrive.
We have to think differently.
Retaining and recruiting new teachers is different today than it was a few years ago. We have to make sure that we’re readying and supporting teachers as they navigate a new educational landscape and encounter both familiar and new challenges.
We need to embrace opportunity for positive change.
Despite the new challenges to education throughout the pandemic, there are silver linings that have resulted, including the willingness to try new things that will become permanent practices moving forward, such as virtual parent-teacher conferences, offering online courses and electives, and a renewed focus on the importance of wellness for students and educators alike.
Check out the full recording of the discussion to hear more strategies to create cultures that teachers don’t want to leave, including providing professional development that teachers want, the flexibility and support that teachers need, and even an on-campus oasis room (teacher or not, you’ll want one of these!)
If you’re looking for ways to support teachers and fill gaps at your school, Edmentum can help! Our EdOptions Academy teachers can help fill your staffing gaps, our instructional services can support your teachers and provide tutoring and foundational skill instruction, and our digital courses can expand your catalog or support teachers teaching outside their primary subject areas.