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Lessening Teacher Turnover
March 5, 2020
Children need models rather than critics.
-Joseph Joubert

In an article on the Learning Policy Institute website called “Teacher Turnover: Why It Matters and What We Can Do About It,” authors Desiree Carver-Thomas and Linda Darling-Hammond write:

“90% of open teaching positions are created by teachers who leave the profession. Some are retiring, but about 2/3 of teachers leave for other reasons, most due to dissatisfactions with teaching. Teacher attrition in the United States is about twice as high as in high-achieving jurisdictions like Finland, Singapore, and Ontario, Canada.”

In their best-selling book, From Teaching to Thinking, authors Ann Pelo and Margie Carter address some of the reasons for early educators’ job dissatisfactions and what we can do about it. They address ways to help teachers move from rote, unexamined practices (which feel un-inspiring and un-motivating) to practices based on a vision. They explain:

“A fair amount of daily practice in early childhood programs is inherited: circle time for example, and naptime customs, and activities centered on holidays and seasons. We do what we do because that’s what has always been done. These proceedings have become untethered from vision and values. Pedagogical leaders act as provocateurs, asking ‘Why?’ We interrogate inherited practices, asking if the values they express are indeed the values that our community wants to embody.”

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