The Real Reason So Many New Teachers Quit

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the December 2012 UFT Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: Leaflet 2012 December

Our leaders have told us repeatedly that a lousy evaluation system causes teachers to leave the system. A recent study by Peter Youngs and Ben Pogodzinski of Wayne State University finds something different. The following is excerpted from a piece by John Tierney at The Atlantic, dated November 16, 2012.

The researchers found that the most important factor influencing commitment was the beginning teacher’s perception of how well the school principal worked with the teaching staff as a whole. This was a stronger factor than the adequacy of resources, the extent of a teacher’s administrative duties, the manageability of his or her workload, or the frequency of professional-development opportunities.

In the case of the novice teachers, poor relations with principals come through in disagreements over school or district policies, evaluations of teacher performance, and expectations that teacher work beyond their contractual requirements. The atmosphere of distrust is often magnified as the teachers discuss their complaints with one another. And it’s not just novice teachers whose work lives are affected by the school’s head….

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