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May 2003 | Volume 60 | Number 8
Keeping Good Teachers
To reduce high teacher turnover rates that impose heavy costs on schools, we must improve working conditions, insist on effective teacher preparation, and provide support for new teachers.
How teachers are paid was a part of it, but overwhelmingly the things that would destroy the morale of teachers who wanted to leave were the working conditions . . . working in poor facilities, having to pay for supplies, and so on.
—A Los Angeles teacher talking about a high-turnover school
The 1st grade classroom in which I found myself five years ago had some two dozen ancient and tattered books, an incomplete curriculum, and a collection of outdated content standards. But I later came to thrive in my profession because of the preparation I received in my credential program: the practice I received developing appropriate curriculum; exposure to a wide range of learning theories; training in working with non-English-speaking students and children labeled “at risk.”
It is the big things, though, that continue to sustain me as a professional and give me the courage to remain and grow: my understanding of the importance of asking questions about my own practice, the collegial relationships, and my belief in my responsibility to my students and to the institution of public education.
—A California teacher from a strong urban teacher education program
What keeps some people in teaching while others give up? What can we do to increase the holding power of the teaching profession and to create a stable, expert teaching force in all kinds of districts? Some of the answers to these questions are predictable; others are surprising. The way schools hire and the way they use their resources can make a major difference.
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Copyright © 2003 by Linda Darling-Hammond
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