Tips on Finding and Keeping Good Teachers
By Nora Carr
The economic tsunami engulfing K-12 education is making the tough job of recruiting and retaining teachers even harder. As if massive layoffs weren’t enough, teachers are faced with bigger classes with fewer resources as districts cut everything from copy paper to computers to balance budgets.
Critical support services, from new teacher mentoring programs to school social workers, have been slashed. Meanwhile, student needs keep increasing, as schools pick up the slack created by a complex host of societal ills.
While the Obama administration is pushing for charter school expansion and pay-for-performance plans, most school administrators are simply trying to outlast the recession with their teaching forces still intact.
Research shows that money does talk, especially for hard-to-staff areas and schools. This doesn’t mean the down economy has to dampen teacher morale, however.
Educators, by nature, are intrinsically motivated. By understanding the psychology of who becomes a teacher and why, administrators can recruit and retain better teachers without breaking the bank.
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