Why Teachers Quit, and 5 Ways You Can Slow Teacher Turnover

The old saying goes, “People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.” According to a study conducted by Peter Youngs, associate professor of educational policy at Michigan State University, and Ben Pogodzinski, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Wayne State University, teachers are no different. Teachers’ perceptions of their school’s principal are the primary factors in determining their commitment.

The study was based on survey data from teachers at the elementary and middle school levels across 11 districts. Even more than having adequate resources and a manageable workload, organizational climate, as directed at the administrative level, is the number one predictor of career satisfaction in teachers. This has opened the doors to a new way of thinking about administrative education and behavior. Below are some tips on increasing teacher satisfaction as it relates to administrative behaviors.

Keep the same schedule

Be at school before your teachers arrive and be one of the last to leave school. This sends a message to teachers that you’re there to support them throughout the day.

Following up with feedback

Don’t pop into a teacher’s classroom unless you plan to follow up with feedback on his or her job. Your classroom visits can make teachers nervous if they don’t know how you felt about your visit.

Avoid empty promises

When you say something is going to be improved (for instance, the state of the cafeteria), follow through with your promise. Empty promises and a lack of accountability frustrate everyone, including your teaching staff.

Don’t micromanage

Give your teachers enough space to express themselves, make their own choices and bring innovation to their classrooms.

Seek input

Invite teachers’ opinions before implementing a change to curriculum and policies. Click here for more tips on becoming an effective administrator.