Why Half of Teachers Leave the Classroom: Understanding Recruitment and Retention in Today's Schools

Paperback / softback
The statistics are familiar: almost 50% of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years in the classroom. The challenge of recruiting and retaining teachers carries high costs for today's schools and students. This book uncovers some of the reasons behind the elevated attrition rates in the field of education through a long-term study of beginning teachers in one urban school district. Drawing upon research conducted over a seven-year period, this book sheds light upon the role that teachers' intentions play in shaping their later career paths. It also shares the deeply personal and professional journeys of teachers who stayed, teachers who shifted into education-related positions, and teachers who left the field altogether. Through eight in-depth case studies, this book clarifies the factors influencing teachers' career paths and depicts the toll that teacher attrition takes on the teachers themselves. Finally, it makes an argument for placing teachers' voices clearly at their center of their own career development as a way to enhance autonomy, satisfaction, and ultimately career longevity.