Teachers are the unsung heroes of our society. They work tirelessly to prepare children for their future endeavors, and ask so little in return. Nowadays, though, teachers are facing many different issues: financial difficulties, social problems and employment concerns. Many different factors have led to a high, national turnover rate for teachers, and schools are feeling the effects.
What public school systems don’t realize is that a high teacher turnover rate has many negative consequences. Many studies have concluded a number of unsavory effects on students when teachers come and go so frequently. The biggest impact teacher turnover has on students is to decrease student involvement and motivation. Children at all ages have shown a decrease in morale after changes in teacher. Achievement rates suffer as well; students that do well with long-lasting teachers tend to suddenly do more poorly when those teachers leave. Low-achieving and low-socioeconomic status schools suffered the worst out of any that were submitted to high teacher turnover rates. This is likely due to students having to readjust to a new teacher, while losing the stability and reliability of their old one. Usually, they must also adapt to differing teaching strategies and classroom routines. At the same time, teachers are adjusting to a new school and new class. This can lead to disorganization or mistakes on their part, which further harms the students.
In rare cases, though, a high teacher turnover rate can be a positive occurrence. Studies have shown that many school-departing teachers are actually less effective, especially in lower-achieving schools. When these ineffective teachers leave and are replaced with more competent teachers, students tend to improve. However, the negative consequences seem to far outweigh any scattered benefits.
The high teacher turnover rate in public school systems is devastating to today’s children. Public school systems need to start implementing new strategies to keep teachers dedicated to their jobs for longer periods of time, and teacher need to begin considering the effects of departure and reassignment on their students.