How to Save Our Educators: The Teacher Turnover Problem

30% of our teachers quit within the first 2 years. Teachers nationwide are leaving their profession too soon due to the challenges of the classroom, and not enough new teachers are taking their place. What does this mean for our children? What is being done to lower the attrition rate of new teachers? Let’s take a look at the problem and what is being done to remedy it. 

The Problem

The first years are the hardest.

Percentage of teachers who leave their profession:

Reasons teachers leave

It can take 11 hires to find that 1 great teacher.

Some effects teacher turnover has on schools

The average cost to replace a teacher is $12,500.

How much are teachers earning compared to other professions?

Annual mean wages:

Due to budget cuts and limited resources, about 71% of teachers said they bring their own supplies to school.

The solution

Finding good teachers takes time, but it’s possible. We can encourage teachers to stay in their classrooms. With their bounding enthusiasm and interest in making a difference, new teachers just need a little extra support.

How can we solve the problem?

  1. Preparation: Preparing our teachers before they start their first job can reduce attrition rates for beginning teachers during their first years on the job.
  2. Well-supported programs: With well-planned and well-supported mentor and induction programs, we can help stem the tide of teacher attrition.

Funding is important.

Out of the 28 states that have state-level teacher induction programs, only 10 of those provide funding as well as the tools needed for mandating them. 

We can encourage new teachers through:

How does new teacher attrition decrease with various support programs?

Turnover rates of first-year teachers according to support programs:

Let’s fight for our teachers!

With the growing recognition of teacher attrition being one of the greatest challenges to U.S. schools, attempts to retain great teachers are multiplying in approach and impact, thankfully paving the way to a future in which our best teachers stay where they belong: in the classroom.


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