The best way to attract and maintain excellent school teachers is by maintaining a pleasant work environment. When a school has effective teachers, the quality of education is higher. Therefore, the goal of every school system is to provide a safe work environment that's conducive with learning. Some factors within a school can’t be changed, including the types of students that attend or the geographic area of the school. However, schools can do several things to encourage the best teachers to stay.
Ask teachers what their most important priorities are. Find out what things each teacher values the most. More often than not, they tend to value the same things: salaries, meeting times and benefits.
Provide professional development. In order to get better at what they do, it’s a good idea for teachers to improve their skills and stay current in their fields. The easiest way to do this is through college classes. Reimbursement of tuition, fees and expenses helps encourage teachers to achieve professional growth.
Allow teachers to have some control over their teaching methods by selecting their own textbooks and other instructional materials. When you offer control, teachers feel they have the authority to implement new methods or reinvent old ones.
Keep teachers safe while they're at work. Some school systems have a school resource officer who provides a level of protection during the school day. Schools without a resource officer should still have a certain level of security in place to protect both children and teachers. Choose doors that lock from the outside, require a check-in for all visitors, and keep all doors to side entrances locked at all times.
Encourage family participation. Invite parents to the school for presentations and awards, and make it easier for parents to get involved. Children are more successful when parents work alongside their teachers.
Reduce class size so teachers have more time to work with each child. A teacher who constantly feels rushed to get lessons done has less time to get to know her students. Smaller class size fosters better relationships and allow teachers to move at a slower pace.
Offer support to teachers at all times. Whenever there's a conflict with students or parents, try to stand behind your teacher’s decisions. When a teacher feels she has her school's support, she's more likely to be happy and want to stay.
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images