There is a recognized need for highly skilled teachers capable of equipping students with 21st-century knowledge and skills. At the same time, there are growing concerns about the status of teaching and retention of suitable teachers in the context of global education reform and intense social and technological change.
Teachers are deciding to change schools or leave the profession altogether at an increasingly high rate. Less attention has been given to teacher retention which has hampered the pupil-teacher ratio. One of the greatest concerns in education today is not the ability to hire teachers, but the ability to retain them.
From 1988 to 2009, the annual attrition of the teaching force increased from 6.4% to 9%. The Alliance for Excellent Education (2008) reported that of the estimated 500,000 teachers who decided to leave, teaching assignments and retirements only account for 16% of the turnover. The remaining 84% chose to transfer to another school or abandon the profession altogether.
Know the reasons that identified for attrition including
- School factors, including organizational culture, social relations and professional support
- Working conditions, including salary, resourcing and advancement
- Student factors, including learning needs, engagement and behaviour
- Teacher factors such as professional identity, commitment, self-efficacy and resilience to burnout and stress
Retention in the profession is mostly supported by motivations to keep teaching. The utility of motivation categories lies in distinguishing between personal satisfaction and interest as intrinsic motivations and time and financial benefits as extrinsic motivations. Every teacher is persuaded by any of these factors to continue his/her profession.
Intrinsic motivation is defined in Tehseen and Ul Hadi’s (2015) work as “Dimension for intrinsic motivation is the satisfaction derived from teaching, recognition, enjoying teaching, career development, the challenging and competitive nature of teaching, teaching as one goal in the life and control over others”.
These intrinsic motivators can improve productivity and positive impact on students by highly effective, passionate teachers to address the unique learning needs of students. Special attention must be invested in retaining staff members who are specifically adept at supporting students.
Many teachers were positively impacted by teachers who taught them and by their parents who were also teachers. They were highly motivated by their teachers and parents to take up this job. Thus, focusing on intrinsic factors is an effective strategy for retaining a motivated workforce.
Following the characteristics of extrinsic motivation factors, teachers experience more satisfaction when they benefit from the school environment. Teachers are very motivated by school appreciation efforts, school administration, cultural diversity and financial benefits.
The teachers are more content and like to continue working if the school values their efforts. They feel more inclined to stay at the school because they feel appreciated and supported. They should be given leadership responsibilities and treated like education professionals.
School leaders must implement regular opportunities to celebrate the accomplishments of their staff. This recognition can come in various formats, including public praise, positive notes and treats.
This support helps teachers feel psychologically safe and able to focus their efforts on supporting students. Extrinsic motivators such as cultural diversity create positive learning experiences and encourage teachers to continue working hard.
It can be defined as the sensory experience of the world, which includes how an individual recognizes and interprets sensory information. The school authority should understand teachers’ thoughts and their needs. This will play a crucial role in retaining teachers.
In teaching, perception factors such as social influences, subject interest, high demand, social status, salary, social dissuasion, satisfaction with choice and professional development are useful for understanding the relationship between perceptions and retention.
Social status and salary are highly correlated to satisfaction with choice. The teachers who perceived that teaching had a higher social status were more likely to perceive teaching as well-paid and be more satisfied with their choice.
Professional development is also an important perception factor for the retention of teachers. Every individual is seeking higher growth in their career to feel more confident and effective in their job responsibilities.
There is a connection between self-efficacy and professional development, whereas the best way for school leaders to cultivate productivity in teachers is by providing the necessary opportunities for teachers to learn skills, setting good examples and helping to build positive self-efficacy.
Employment practices and social perceptions that erode teachers’ self-concept may seriously undermine retention strategies. Thus motivation and perception play a significant role in retaining teachers for longer periods.
Understanding these intrinsic, extrinsic and perception factors help school leaders provide the required support and design positive and productive work environments. Maintaining a consistent, qualified, experienced, and passionate teaching staff will ultimately improve student outcomes.