A letter to the editor
To the Editor,
Across Arkansas, there is an ongoing struggle with retaining teachers in schools. The Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Research finds almost 40% of new teachers in Arkansas leave the classroom after 5 years.
Like countless other school districts, the Hope Public School District suffers from teacher turnover, with 5-8% of teachers leaving each year. While HPS has improved its turnover rates, it is still negatively affected by it. Thus, further action must be taken to mitigate teacher turnover.
There are a variety of proposed solutions to improve teacher retention. However, the best immediate option to reduce turnover at HPS is to promote a positive work environment, as it would encourage retention while being at a low cost for the district.
Schools are like any workplace, in that the working conditions are critical to morale. Poor school culture can cause teachers to feel unmotivated, ultimately causing them to leave the district.
Steps to improve school culture is to collect data asking teachers about their workplace conditions. From the data collected, HPS should implement an action plan based on what aspects of workplace culture need improvement. Data collection should be at minimal cost to HPS, but the cost of acting on findings of this data varies on what specific problems are present.
Teacher turnover affects the overall quality of education that is offered at HPS, so it is critical that action is taken to ensure that students are well-prepared and are at an academic advantage.