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Teacher Retention and Recruitment
I have spent much of my 35 year career in education mentoring, supporting and advocating for teachers. As a mentor and instructional coach, I have been able to contribute directly to the retention of new teachers. On a daily basis, I have listened to teachers and I understand not only the critical importance of increasing teacher salaries, but also their need for emotional support and the need to be treated as professionals. We must improve the way we nurture and support teachers; increase the number of instructional assistants in the lower grades; and remove barriers that keep qualified substitute teachers from engaging with the system.
- The slight reduction in teacher turnover rates in DPS will not be sustainable unless the pay, working conditions, and quality of professional development improve. Teacher supply across the state and nation is shrinking which means that we must provide a teaching environment that values our teachers in order to attract them to and keep them in DPS. This can be done by increasing the level of professionalism in DPS through increased teacher leader opportunities, high quality professional development that respects teacher choice and needs, and through consistent observation and feedback that promotes professional growth.
- Recruitment and Retention of teachers of color must happen in DPS. With over 41% of our students being black and over 32% of our students being latinx, we need to increase our teachers of color, currently at less than 40%. Students need more teachers and leaders in their schools who reflect their own race and culture. DPS needs to put things in place to make working in our schools a more attractive option for teachers of color, with ongoing supports in place after teachers are hired.
- Our elementary schools cannot provide high quality instruction with the lack of Instructional Assistants in the lower grades, combined with a lack of professional development for IA’s.
- Despite reports that there has been an increase in substitute teachers in DPS, the fact remains that there is still a substantial shortage of substitutes available, especially in particular zip code zones in our city. Other school personnel are pulled from their duties to cover classrooms on a regular basis, which leaves students in two classrooms at a disadvantage and impacts the level of stress put on teachers. This can be improved by building a strong district substitute team and providing on-going professional learning and support to them throughout the school year.
Paid for by Paula for School Board
5117 Starcross Lane, Durham NC 27713