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Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Doin' the Teacher Shuffle

May 30, 2007

Oh boy. I found out today that some of the teachers at Molly's school will be changing grade levels next year. Sadly, the teacher I hoped Molly would have next year won't be teaching first grade after all. But I'm sure it will work out fine. There are several terrific teachers at our school, and I know that Molly's K teacher and the principal will find the right match for her first grade year.

I shouldn't be surprised that teachers are "movers" and "leavers" at our school. In the Reading Rockets March 2007 newsletter I shared a link to a report published by the National Center for Education statistics (it uses those terms). The report provides descriptive statistics that seek to answer questions such as: What percentage of teachers move to another school or leave the profession entirely? And why?

Nationally, around 9-11% of teachers leave the profession each year (for charter schools, it's twice that high). Though as Going to the Matwrote, it might not be all bad news. Twenty-nine percent who leave the classroom take education-related jobs, so maybe they're sharing their expertise that way.

While the exact percentage of "leavers" or "movers" depends on the population sampled, it's clear that teacher attrition, whether it be through retirement, teachers moving to a better-paying school district, or leaving the profession to do something different is a costly situation for schools.

For now, I'm just happy that our teachers are "movers" and not "leavers." There's still a chance for a match.

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"If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book." —

J.K. Rowling