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Sharing My Action Research: Professional Development as a Tool for New Teacher Retention

Posted by Hope Scott on Sunday, August 1, 2010 Under: Action Research

Professional Development as a Tool for New Teacher Retention

Many new teachers leave the classroom disillusioned due to a lack of support and training.  My wondering is, "How could Professional Development be designed to benefit new teachers and help in new teacher retention?"  New teachers leave campuses and districts due to the lack of support from principals and veteran teachers. New teachers need support of administrators. They need mentors to help them to be successful from their first day on campus. They are really thrown into a sink or swim situation. Many come straight from a college classroom with all kinds of ideas of an utopian school: a school that is 'perfect,' with 'above average' students who follow all the rules and never give anyone a moment of trouble, a school where there is community and parental support, and where money is no object when there are needs. Or they come from industry, where things are accomplished in a totally different way, with several lines of command or lots of money to spend to fix problems. Then reality hits them: there is no such thing as a perfect school.

Action research, according to Dana, is intended to bring about change of some kind (Dana, 2009)[1].  My action research will seek ways to improve professional development to help new teacher retention rate in the district.  An interesting quote from Edutopia states; "Every year, U.S. schools hire more than 200,000 new teachers for that first day of class. By the time summer rolls around, at least 22,000 have quit. Even those who make it beyond the trying first year aren't likely to stay long: about 30 percent of new teachers flee the profession after just three years, and more than 45 percent leave after five."[2]

I will be working with forty-nine other teachers and our Technology Director as part of  research study on induction training.  The study is based on and is using the TxBESS Mentors and Beginning Teachers Module.  We believe that new teachers will remain in the profession if given adequate support. We plan to follow the TxBESS plan which includes a timeline and suggest activities to be completed to help facilitate the smooth transition from novice to veteran.  The study requires participants to dedicate three hours per week,  participate in staff development, classroom observations, surveys, interviews and feedback conferences.  We will research the impact of having all training materials available for easy access by putting resources online.  We are also seeking immediate feedback from participants in the form of survey completion.  Mentors and inductee have been given a binder with resource materials and tabs.  This will be used for all forthcoming resources.  We were also given a list of procedures to follow for success. 

We are hoping that the data support our claim that new teachers will remain in the profession if they are given adequate support. The surveys will be our main source of feedback.  The size of the group makes it easy to follow and maintain. 

Our action research should lay the groundwork for a successful teaching career for new teachers.  I feel that with support and training, new teachers will not feel like they are thrown to the wolves.  Statistics can change, but you have to work at making it happen. 


[1] Dana, Nancy Fichtman (2009). Leading with passion and knowledge: The principal as action Researcher. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. 

[2] Graziano, Claudia. (n.d.) Public Education Faces a Crisis in Teacher Retention. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/new-teacher-burnout-retention

In : Action Research 

Tags: claudia graziano 

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About Me

Hope Scott I am a Web Technologies teacher. I created this blog as part of my Master of Education in Educational Technology Leadership for Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas.

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