How We Have Achieved High Teacher Retention

There is no job more important than teaching, but it’s a job that has become increasingly difficult. 

According to a June Gallup poll, K-12 educators feel the most burned out of any profession. Forty-four percent of teachers say they feel “always” or “very often” burned out. 

Because it’s so challenging, there is a reported mass exodus of teachers from the profession. Here in DC, there was a 22% increase in teacher resignations over the past 3 years. In Montgomery County, 1,070 teachers resigned last year.  

We are proud that 86% of our teachers are returning this year. We think our high retention is largely due to three factors: 

First, our primary retention tool is recruiting and hiring mission-aligned team members. Our teachers believe that we are changing history and that education is the social justice issue of our generation.  

Second, we treat our staff with respect. That includes everything from paying our teachers like the professionals they are to having all staff lead with kindness and candor in everyday interactions.  

Third, we actively support our staff’s mental health and emotional well-being. We do this by acknowledging, not ignoring, the fact that teachers will inevitably be tired and stressed at certain points in the year. Through our partnership with The Teaching Well, we provide our team with the social and emotional tools, skills, and space to practice mindfulness.  

All of that said, we know we don’t have it all figured out and are constantly looking for ways to improve. I’d love to hear from other educators what is helping you stay engaged and committed to the mission in your school or district. Please share below!

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