Teacher Turnover

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Bell.Quiana.TeacherTurnover.docx

1

ASSESSING THE STRATEGIES IN MITIGATING THE

TEACHER TURNOVER RATE IN RAPIDES PARISH

By

Quiana R. Bell

A Research Paper-in-lieu-of-Thesis

Submitted to the Graduate School of

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

In partial fulfillment of requirements for the

Master of Education in Education Leadership

February 2024

Chapter 1

Introduction

The educator's attrition rate in Rapides Parish is a significant issue. The high attrition is linked to increasing workload and the absence of a motivation system which often compels the teachers to exit their jobs. Statistics identify that 50% of teachers, mainly the newly employed are likely to leave this profession within one to five years of their employment to pursue other careers. Many teachers, especially those engaged in remote areas of Rapides Parish where they are away from their friends and families, quit, were found to terminate quickly because they failed to adjust to unfamiliar environments. Also, some leave their jobs due to cultural awareness and suitable training programs, which increase job stress. Besides being posted in unfamiliar environments, teachers are the least paid job group, influencing their turnover rate. The increasing teacher turnover rate drastically impacts the quality of education the students are receiving since new educators need to be provided with adequate time to blend in with the environment and establish relationships with the students, which also includes understanding their education needs. During the induction phase, the quality of education will be compromised if the school and the government fail to develop functional strategies reflecting on measures that can be used to respond to this issue. When a school has adequate teachers, the student will not get the exposure they need, such as cultural values and primary ideas related to subject coverage if they will have sufficient teachers. Therefore, retaining and maintaining teachers' job satisfaction is essential from management's perspective, making this topic attractive to explore.

Theoretical Framework.

Numerous theories on educator turnover have been developed and implemented to help the education sector mitigate the issue. The first theoretical framework is the two-factor theory by Herzberg, which pinpoints the specific needs of employees that the government and school management can prioritize to address the conditions proposed by the teachers (Ogunnaike,et al., 2017 ). Herzberg identifies that many employees are likely to leave an organization if no reliable principles are used to motivate the teachers. The theory identifies that employees' primary motivation needs are a conducive work environment, good wages, responsive management, job security, and good interpersonal relations, which they determine as hygiene needs. Other motivators are self-actualization and growth needs which will provide employees with the skills they need to remain competitive in the particular industry.

The other theory is the job embeddedness theory which upholds that the willingness of an individual to leave or stay in an organization is determined by their satisfaction with the organizational teams, community, and job role. The theory creates beliefs and perceptions among people regarding the organization's commitment to respond to their needs which empowers their relationship with the organization and the job roles. This theory is essential in that it enables employees to redefine their beliefs bringing in different environmental and psychological factors which influence the retention ability of the employees. To this end, the management team can organize the employees by recognizing and administering these factors effectively, which will help boost the employees' morale and commitment.

These theories are influential for this research because it offers insight into the critical factors that the school's administration can look into to mitigate teacher turnover in their organization. They can execute this by formulating policies on educator retention by following the provisions provided by this theory (Zembytska 2015). For instance, they can focus on integrating the teachers into the community by teaching them the cultural values and expectations of the existing community to help them adapt to the new environment. Besides training, teachers can be provided with time to bond with their students and deliver quality education using their teaching methodologies which will go a long way in influencing job satisfaction. The government can work with the school administration to allocate the resources to ensure that teachers can be in a position to cater to the needs of their students without burning out. Therefore, using these theories' provisions will help curb teacher turnover rates by intensifying their job commitment and satisfaction.

Problem Statement

Rapides Parish teachers are prone to numerous professional and personal stressors in their jobs which contribute to high turnover. Such stressors include the educators' lack of emotional preparedness, which intensifies the psychological pressure of settling into unfamiliar environments and complicated life challenges (Baker et al., 2021). Numerous incidences, such as relocation into areas challenged by resource shortage to help deliver quality education and a high education workload, plummet job satisfaction among educators. This plays a central role in hindering the teachers' morale and ability to commit to their teaching profession. The high teacher turnover rate is experienced in high schools and primary schools in Louisiana, negatively affecting their reputation and the quality of education the students are receiving (Oke et al., 2016). Educator turnover affects students' mindsets as they lose their relationships with their teachers, and they must start over with every new teacher brought into the school from another region. Therefore, if the school administration continues lagging in taking corrective action, it will become difficult for them to retain teachers (Sutcher et al., 2016). The government must also take an active role in this issue since high turnover will diminish the task force's efficiency due to the absence of appropriate education.

Numerous scholars have reflected on the issue of educator dissatisfaction, and taking measures to deal with this problem is essential in decreasing turnover. However, the way the management will implement the strategies will implement these strategies can improve or deteriorate retention ability among educators.

Research Objective Questions

The questions developed by the study to help in providing recommendations for mitigating educator turnover include:

1. What environmental, psychological, and economic factors influence an educator to quit their job?

2. What strategies do the government and school administrators use to mitigate educator turnover?

Rationale

Educator retention is essential in upholding educational services' superiority and stimulating economic growth because teachers play a central role in establishing human capital. Different Rapides Parish schools have an additional number of teachers based on the accreditation of subjects. Therefore, whether an experienced or skilled teacher exited the school, the school management needed help to sustain the formal education (Barrett et al., 2021). In most cases, the government is involved in recruiting educators in remote locations to aid in improving the standard of education for indigenous students. Nonetheless, the teachers must be provided with adequate education about the underlying cultural values. They need to be more mentally ready to deal with the challenges they will experience in the new environment. Also, many remote areas need adequate community support and educational resources, further aggravating the problems for the new teacher. The presence of these types of stressors increases job dissatisfaction and compels educators to exit the profession.

At the same time, the issue of poor wages and inflexible working schedules is prevalent among Louisiana teachers (Stair et al., 2019). The study performs research on Rapides Parish School District. It explores the different teacher retention challenges in managing the school experiences, which will also be relied on to give insight into possible retention strategies. Therefore, the study aims to look into the causes and provide strategies to help curb high teacher turnover in Rapides Parish.

Significance of the Study

The study is expected to offer detailed information regarding the numerous challenges facing Rapides Parish teachers, which have played an integral role in demotivating them (Beebe 2013). The study will also reflect on multiple retention strategies that can be adopted by Rapides Parish School Board and the underlying gaps in teacher motivation which will enable the school management to reduce teacher turnover. The study identifies solutions such as providing training to teachers, especially those posted in new localities, recommended to familiarize themselves with the culture of the particular community. This will help them avoid high-stress levels as they struggle to blend in (Medigan and Kim 2021). Also, the training program should focus on informing teachers of the organizational expectations during onboarding, which will help prepare them mentally on what to expect and develop measures to help them cope effectively.

Identification and Definition of Key Terms

Job Satisfaction

This is the level of staff contentment regarding their work environment and jobs by assessing how their occupation affects their life (Zembytska 2016). Job satisfaction is paramount to maintaining high employee productivity and retention.

Turnover

This ratio describes the total number of employees exiting a school within a given period. Reducing staff turnover is essential for sustaining quality performance.

Retention

This strategy or process stimulates employee satisfaction, thus reducing turnover (Goldrick et al., 2012). Nonetheless, the government should collaborate with school management to implement motivation strategies that will be updated to suit the changing educator environment.

Limitation

Similar to other research studies, this research was prone to some limitations including that it relied on one primary school district to acquire insights of one hundred educators on their turnover intentions. The audience of the study is also limited because it only focuses on exploring Rapides Parish only and therefore the study cannot be replicated by future researchers desiring to research the same issue outside Rapides Parish.

Chapter 2

Review of Literature

Issues that Influence High Turnover

Various scholars identify that multiple aspects increase the attrition rate of teachers during the early years after getting employed. Evidence determines that teachers are 50% more likely to quit their jobs during the first five years (Bellows et al., 2021). This is linked to increased job stress, heavy workload, poor wages, and an unconducive workplace environment. Another aspect is unfamiliarity with culture and community, which discourage them from committing to their newborn. In addition, teachers need to be educated on the cultural values of the neighboring communities and how to adjust to these unfamiliar environments, which increase stress.

Additionally, various schools do not guide or define the newly recruited teachers regarding the best strategies to deliver quality education which interferes with teachers' performance. Such approaches of school authorities cause stress to increase as there is no strong bonding between the teachers and the students (Ford 2018). This causes discomfort to the teachers, and they finally resign from the job. Another major challenge is racism and discrimination against teachers, which generates anxiety and depression among the teachers and encourages them to terminate their careers as Rapides Parish teachers. Various teachers are willing to start teaching jobs in primary or secondary schools in Rapides Parish. Still, they needed help to acquire the essential accreditation in multiple circumstances influencing the negative attitude.

Moreover, Doromal et al., (2022) identify that teachers need to be supported in managing their classroom and other educational activities, which significantly impact quitting their teaching career or returning to their own country. Most teachers are assigned to teach more subjects than required due to a need for more teachers. This kind of impractical workload causes the teachers to work extra hard, decreasing commitment and performance (Gamborg et al., 2018). These issues are supposed to be checked by school authorities to develop a positive environment for teaching specialists, which will minimize the turnover rate.

Strategies to Minimize Turnover Rate

Various effective methods were used to increase teachers' retention and job gratification. Among the strategies is having Educational Curriculum Training (ECT), a program that educates teachers on matters concerning economic challenges, unknown cultures, and other potential challenges that might occur within the job location (Carson et al., 2017). This program helps the teachers to develop a positive mindset among themselves and assists them in handling worst-case scenarios. The ECT program can be used to train both secondary and primary teachers. Besides that, this program is used to overcome the skill gap developing in Rapides Parish teachers, which helps enhance the communication mode. Therefore, teachers can engage with their students and fill their needs effectively. When teachers are fully satisfied and enjoy their calling, they can retain their jobs despite low salaries.

According to Ford et al., (2017), the education department and school authorities of Louisiana are obligated to conduct training that will help create awareness regarding diverse communities. The teachers will also be able to grasp the socio-culture values of the diverse communities as well as their lifestyle, thus being able to adapt to those cultures readily (Master and Yoon 2015). This enables the teachers to adjust to their unaccustomed work environment. Moreover, local schools can give special training that concerns local languages and the appropriate communication style. When these innovative approaches are used, they aid in minimizing job stress and increase the commitment and job satisfaction of the teachers. According to study conducted by Bassok et al., (2021) the school principals have a significant role in interacting with the teachers and recognizing what challenges they are going through and which is the best strategy to use to overcome those challenges. School principals are also supposed to mentor their teachers occasionally. This would be an advantage to the teachers because they can overcome various issues quickly, which can affect their performance and create an intention to quit the job (Blackburn et al., 2017). Further, conducting a salary increments strategy based on the results and experience is also necessary to withstand the productivity and satisfaction of the teachers.

Chapter 3

Research Methodology.

The study will use qualitative research methodology to precisely highlight the underlying theoretical knowledge regarding the research theme. The subjective data will explain the retention aspects of Rapides Parish teachers and associated solutions in detail. To avoid the issue of data validity, the study will use respondents who will be interviewed using semi-structured interviews by using questionnaires associated with the research theme.

Sampling

The study will use purposive sampling to choose teachers from different schools in Rapides Parish to determine their intentions about quitting their jobs and the underlying factors pushing them. This sampling technique is a reliable non-probability sampling that identifies the research participants grounded on particular metrics. One hundred teachers will be selected from the various schools of the parish, and the participants must have three years of teaching experience (Strunk et al., 2017). The thematic analysis will be employed in this qualitative study for data analysis.

Ethical Consideration

It is recommended to follow research ethics to guarantee the legitimacy of the results. Various strategies can be used, such as having a consent form that will be used to obtain the endorsement of defendants so that their charitable contributions can be verified and avoid unnecessary conflicts. Also, any member who is not interested will not be forced to share their thoughts via survey. Their interest will be valued on a software called Survey Monkey. This is where the participant will click the needed points. Lastly is protecting the details of the participants as well as other important information about the research. This is achieved by keeping the gathered data in secured storage.

Data Collection Methods

The background of Rapides Parish schools will be analyzed from their official website reports. Likewise, retention methods used in the teaching institution will also be evaluated. Using such kinds of secondary data sources illustrated the current scenarios of the schools, which assisted in designing the type of questions to be asked on Survey Monkey. Moreover, several other methods are used to collect secondary data, such as peer-reviewed articles, newspapers, and scholarly research papers. Therefore, a practical exploration design guarantees the study is carried out ethically. Emails will be used to book appointments with the desired school's management. Using this research, all the school management will be informed to notice any potential teachers willing to do their best. The sample will consist of one hundred respondents, where some teachers with at least two years of experience will be involved, the age gap will be between twenty-five and fifty years, and purposive sampling will be the best option in sample selection.

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