Teacher Perceptions Regarding Teacher Retention in an Urban Middle School: What School Leaders Need to Know
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The new terminology in public school districts is “urban education” which breeds an entirely new scope of needs for public urban school success. Teachers who work in urban schools with large numbers of low socio-economic minority students feel less satisfied and are more likely to turn over; meaning that turnover is high with low morale in the very schools that would benefit the most from a stable staff of experienced teachers (Grissom, 2011). The purpose of this qualitative research study was to identify teacher perceptions regarding teacher retention in a high need, low socio-economic public urban middle school, identifying reasons why teachers stay at that same school, transfer to another school within the district, or leave the profession in entirety. Urban schools are challenged to improve teacher retention and quality (Sachs, 2004). The participants in this study consisted of a sample population of 50 certified novice and veteran teachers who completed a confidential online survey that consisted of eight open-ended questions. Findings from this study are expected to show factors that can positively or adversely impact teacher retention according to teacher perceptions in a high need, low socio-economic public urban middle school. Some of the factors that are expected to be revealed are teacher preparation for urban education, teacher workload, and campus leadership support. Implications for school leaders are to consider teacher feedback regarding campus improvement, assist teachers with balancing workloads, and increase effective campus leadership support to retain high quality teachers for urban school long-term success.