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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, there are plenty of things you can do to keep them around for the long term.

Start on day one.

The right time to think about retention is on the new teacher’s first day on the job. How you can help new teachers 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?

  • 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 easy to feel isolated. Providing the right amount of support for your teachers can look different in each school

  • 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. 

  • You have super star 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 students’ experience, you set the tone for your staff. 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 expectation. For example, thank a teacher for always being on time and coming to work with a positive energy. Describe how that makes the school a wonderful place for students, families and your team.

  • When you see a great moment captured on your WatchMeGrow Streaming Video system, be sure to share it with plenty of accolades.