Teachings Revolving Door problem

A recent article in Rethinking Schools focuses attention on the ongoing problem of teachers leaving the profession within 3-5 years of starting. The article entitled Teachings Revolving Door points to a number of different explanations for the problem, and as Conflict Resolution in Education advocates know, classroom conflict and management challenges is one of these drivers. Clearly, we need to work on many levels to improve the situation, including helping to prepare new teachers with realistic and practical skills for handling challenging situations. The costs to young people, especially in urban schools, is particularly high, as they most often end up with the most inexperienced teachers due to the revolving door. But, as school administrators know, lack of teacher retention has costs in other ways as well. As the article points out, “Nationwide, teacher turnover costs $7.3 billion a year, according to the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. In some districts, the costs are shockingly high. In Milwaukee, the average cost per teacher who left was $15,325, according to the commission. In Chicago, the average cost was $17,872, with the total cost to the district about $86 million per year.” Conflict Resolution in Education is part of the solution, but only if we continue to extend the work and make sure it remains relevant to the actual conditions teachers face as they begin their careers.