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Great Expectations: Teachers’ Views on Elevating the Teaching Profession

Published on: 
Sun, 11/11/2012

At Teach Plus, we are driven to address a specific problem within the education system. Half of new teachers
leave urban classrooms within their first three years, just as they are beginning to have the greatest impact on student
learning.
We have developed two selective leadership programs for current teachers in urban schools to allow them the opportunity
to grow professionally while remaining in the classroom. The first is the Teaching Policy Fellowship, which spans two
school years, trains teachers in policy, and helps them advocate for their students and their profession. The second is T3:
Turnaround Teacher Teams, which trains teams of teacher leaders (comprising 25 percent of the school faculty) to lead
their peers in dramatically improving outcomes for students in historically low-performing schools. To date, almost 500
teachers nationwide have been selected and trained for these two programs, and most report that the opportunity to
serve in a formal leadership role helped to extend their careers in the classroom.
Our programs address the retention of high-performing teachers and are proof points that show that the availability of
leadership opportunities matters to teachers. However, leadership opportunities alone are not enough to fix the attrition
problem.
We launched our first national survey to better understand the systemic issues that inhibit the retention of the incoming
generation of teachers, and the results are in this report.

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