ERIC Number: EJ883030
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 16
Retaining Beginning Special Educators: What Should Administrators Know and Do?
Leko, Melinda M.; Smith, Stephen W.
Intervention in School and Clinic, v45 n5 p321-325 2010
The experiences that beginning special education teachers encounter moving from the pre-service environment into the first year of classroom teaching put them in a uniquely tenuous position that could lead to leaving the classroom after only a few years of teaching. District- and school-level administrators can influence the retention rates of beginning special educators by encouraging a welcoming and supportive school climate that facilitates collaboration among teachers, other school personnel, and parents. Administrators can promote induction by focusing on the instructional and material needs of beginning special educators that match their varied teaching assignments. Assigning a mentor who is knowledgeable about special education practices and policies and who is available for brief but frequent meetings will help reduce confusion, frustration, or lack of confidence new teachers may feel as they begin their teaching experience. Providing beginning special educators with opportunities to advance their knowledge through professional development can promote a sense of preparedness in a variety of teaching situations. Administrators can reduce beginners' stress levels by monitoring caseload and paperwork burdens. Noting the difficulties of filling special education positions in their schools, administrators have at their disposal multiple and effective strategies to retain practicing special education teachers, especially those new to the profession. Focused and individualized attention on beginning special education teachers, who are most vulnerable to attrition, can improve the retention of their services over a long period of time and ultimately improve the services for students with disabilities. (Contains 2 tables.)
Descriptors: Special Education Teachers, Special Education, Teacher Persistence, Faculty Mobility, Teacher Shortage, Mentors, Beginning Teacher Induction, Professional Development, Change Strategies, Organizational Change, Teacher Responsibility, Teacher Role, Organizational Climate
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A