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Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID)
Special Education and Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Introduction — Meeting the Challenge
No teacher should feel alone. Every student deserves a high quality teacher who has the confidence, the ability, and the supports necessary to fulfill the expectations in those students’ eyes. Every educational administrator understands that quality teachers are critical to the academic growth and social development of our youth. In a rapidly changing society where knowledge and skills are crucial for success, students are our hope for the future. Creating new technologies, developing breakthroughs in medical research and health care, working in global economies brought together through instantaneous communications are but a few of the unlimited opportunities awaiting today’s students. Students with the skills developed and honed by caring and competent teachers represent our nation’s aspirations for a future where hard work and dedication are rewarded with success.
Our youth need quality teachers to develop
their capabilities. That need, however, does not match the realities of what
is happening in schools across the nation. In spite of the best efforts of
educational leaders at all levels of education, American education faces a
crisis in attracting and retaining quality teachers. While the root causes
of the problem are due to a variety of factors, the inescapable conclusion
is that students suffer when quality teachers are not available to teach
them the skills they need to be successful in school and in life. We can and
we should do better. Together, we can.
|“There I was, the very first day of school. I closed the classroom door, and turned around. There were 20 pairs of eyes looking at me. I was excited, nervous and scared — and I felt so alone.” First Year Teacher|
|Keeping Quality Teachers — The Art of Retaining General and Special Education Teachers is a powerful tool that provides school leaders with resources to increase the awareness of the need to address retention of all teachers, especially in areas of persistent shortages of teachers including mathematics, science and special education. It contains a framework for action that includes tools that are known to support retention of quality teachers. The framework for action can be used to create a plan for retaining quality teachers or it can be used to strengthen existing plans. School leaders at all levels of education can use the resources and strategies in this document to strengthen their efforts to ensure that students learn with quality teachers. Stakeholders can better understand how their efforts and partnerships with educational institutions can support recruitment and retention of quality teachers to promote high levels of educational performance for all students.||
“All students deserve competent and caring teachers, all beginning teachers deserve competent and caring mentors, and all teachers deserve competent and caring administrators.”
Ellen Moir and Garry Blum
University of California-Santa Cruz
Addressing the Teacher Retention Issue
Recognition of the teacher retention issue and the need for school leadership to support retention initiatives are major concerns emerging across the nation to ensure a quality education for all students. The need for more effective strategies to recruit and retain quality teachers has never been higher, and new and innovative approaches to teacher retention are taking hold in diverse school settings involving a broad range of stakeholders.
A number of collaborating partners in states in the Northeast recognized that their schools are losing teachers and in particular, special education teachers, at an alarming rate. These partners have joined together to address the teacher retention issue within their respective states.
This collaborative effort is designed to provide materials to assist school leaders and a broad range of stakeholders in developing and implementing support for teacher retention initiatives in local school buildings and districts. It responds to education research that has consistently demonstrated that quality teachers are instrumental to high academic achievement. It addresses the growing concern about attracting and keeping quality teachers in urban schools where the educational needs of students are the greatest and where the working conditions often present considerable challenges.
More can be done to improve education by improving the effectiveness of teachers than by any other single factor.”
Nassau BOCES-Long Island
Quality Teachers — The Art of Retaining General and Special Education
Teachers is a user-friendly product that was developed with the
collaborating partners that can be used flexibly with a variety of
audiences. It includes a series of technical assistance resource materials
that can assist any school building principal, school district administrator
or larger educational administrative unit in developing effective retention
plans for teachers in general, with an emphasis on special education
teachers. It can support local school leaders in integrating retention
planning into existing or developing improvement plans, and encouraging
partnerships with institutions of higher education. The following sections
are designed to provide resources for educational leaders to support teacher
retention initiatives at the state and local levels.
Although policymakers can mandate and fund recruitment and induction programs, only school leaders can foster the full range of supports that teachers need.”
Susan Moore Johnson
Each section has a series of resources and a list of references to support teacher retention efforts in states and local school districts.
Using the Teacher Retention Product
New higher learning standards; the changing needs of today’s students who need greater knowledge and skills to function effectively in a more complex society; and the future success of our nation in a global economy dictate that all school leaders and the greater school community need to be concerned about recruiting and retaining quality teachers. The teacher retention product is designed to provide the resources and strategies to assist educational administrators to meet that goal in the following ways.
Quality teacher preparation followed by strong, consistent support for teachers when they pursue their careers in schools can create an environment for enhanced student achievement and reduce high teacher turnover rates that impose heavy costs on students, schools and the community.
“A stronger partnership between higher education institutions and school
districts is essential for recruiting and retaining teachers.”
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