What Teachers Say Attracts Them to Work in Tougher School Environments
What does it take to attract teachers to serve in the more challenging school environments? Part of Denver’s ProComp program rewards teachers who work at hard-to-serve schools with a $2,345 bonus this year.
While the extra money definitely plays a part in providing incentives to some, there are other factors that help attract teachers to challenging environments they might not otherwise choose. As Ed News Colorado reports about a new study:
Augenblick, Palaich and Associates surveyed teachers and principals at 16 relatively high-performing public schools – some charters, some district schools – in six cities coast-to-coast. The study, undertaken in collaboration with district and union leaders from Aurora, Denver and Jefferson County public schools, was funded by Denver’s Rose Community Foundation.
The study participants were overwhelmingly from elementary schools, so people reviewing results should keep that in mind, researchers stressed.
Dale DeCesare, one of the study’s authors, said he was surprised by the emphasis teachers placed on the effective use of technology. Overall, availability of technology ranked as the third most important factor in creating positive working conditions.
As someone surfing the Internet and reading an education blog, you must have some appreciation for the value of technology. The article goes on to explain how teachers value the power of technology in helping them to collaborate effectively and to connect with students in new and interesting ways. The explanation comes with the necessary caution that readers should avoid “jumping to the conclusion that more technology equals better results.” Technology can enhance good teaching, but it cannot substitute for bad teaching.
Other factors that teachers found to be important? More planning time (including group planning time); effective instructional leadership; flexibility from district and union work rules; and strategic interventions for struggling students.
Next what we need is a study to show how much each of these factors contributes to improving student achievement.