Got great teachers? Retain them for the long term
Your school’s teachers are a big reason your enrolled families are happy. They develop bonds with children and parents that last a lifetime. When you have a strong team of teachers, recognize what a gift this is and then do everything you can to nurture their career fulfillment, develop them as professionals, and invest in them (and in turn in yourself!)
Retention starts on their first day on the job.
The right time to begin retention is on the new teacher’s first day on the job. How you do this will be determined by what you did well with the last group of teachers you hired.
Start by interviewing last year’s new teachers. What part of their training helped them when they started? What do they wish they had or wish they’d known? What suggestions do they have for supporting new teachers? Listen carefully.
Create an onboarding plan. Organize these ideas into a plan of action for onboarding new teachers and assign your director or assistant director to lead its implementation.
Be sure teachers never feel alone.
Even in a busy school filled with children and staff, it’s so easy to feel isolated. Providing the right amount of support for your teachers can look different in each school.
Facilitate connections. New teachers need to connect with other staff members. Help orchestrate connections with regular staff meetings and be sure to incorporate fun social events. Ice breaker activities and games are a great way to help your team get to know each other and bond.
Identify mentors. You have superstar teachers who may be well suited to be mentors for new teachers. Pair up mentors and mentees -- this can do the work of retention for both groups. Mentor teachers will be recognized for their important contributions to your team and new teachers will have reliable support.
Be consistent with positive feedback and guidance.
Teaching is incredibly rewarding, at the same time it can have difficult days. Just like a classroom teacher sets the tone for the student's experience, you set the tone for your team's experience. When you see something great in your teachers' day-to-day, be sure to vocalize it.
Give plenty of empathy to your teaching staff. Listen well and share your own experiences that pertain to daily challenges your staff sees. This helps develop emotional resilience among your team.
Saying thank you goes a long way. Be sure to thank teachers for everyday things in addition to the moments they exceed expectations. For example, thank a teacher for always being on time and coming to work with positive energy. Describe how that makes the school a wonderful place for students, families, and your team.
Capture and share moments as examples. When you see a great moment captured on your WatchMeGrow Streaming Video system, be sure to share it with plenty of accolades.
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