Recruitment and Retention of Teachers

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What Can School Leaders Do to Reverse This Trend?

The first step is to admit that the teacher shortage is a huge problem in schools, so leaders need to do something dramatically different to recruit teachers. We have surveyed school districts across the country, asking school leaders to describe how they recruit new teachers. Their responses indicate that many school systems have not kept pace with the recruitment process and best practices of other fields. Our conversations with educators revealed persistent problems in teacher recruitment and retention, but also possibilities for positive reforms.

Access:  ASCD – Leading Us Out of the Teacher Recruitment Crisis   

When addressing a lack of workforce diversity, districts tend to double down on recruitment. But what about efforts to retain and empower BIPOC educators? Daman Harris, one of the founders of The BOND Project, a professional organization of male educators of color, shares several practices that districts can use to create a fundamentally more inclusive teaching profession.

Access:  ASCD – A Strong BOND Supports Teacher Retention   

Recent media reports of teacher shortages across the country are confirmed by the analysis of several national data sets reported in this paper. Shortages are particularly severe in special education, mathematics, science, and bilingual/English learner education, and in locations with lower wages and poorer working conditions. Shortages are projected to grow based on declines in teacher education enrollments, coupled with student enrollment growth, efforts to reduce pupil-teacher ratios, and ongoing high attrition rates. If attrition were reduced by half to rates comparable to those in high-achieving nations, shortages would largely disappear. We describe evidence-based policies that could create competitive, equitable compensation packages for teachers; enhance the supply of qualified teachers for high-need fields and locations; improve retention, especially in hard-to-staff schools; and develop a national teacher supply market.

Access:  A Coming Crisis in Teaching? Teacher Supply, Demand, and Shortages - Linda Darling-Hammond, et al

At work, people express and receive appreciation in different ways. If you try to express appreciation in ways that aren’t meaningful to your co-workers, they may not feel valued at all. This is because you and your co-workers are speaking different languages. In The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, Dr. Chapman and Dr. White will help you identify the five languages of appreciation in order to:

  1. Express genuine appreciation to co-workers and staff — even on a tight budget.
  2. Increase loyalty with the employees and volunteers in your organization.
  3. Reduce cynicism and create a more positive work environment.
  4. Improve your ability to show appreciation for difficult colleagues.
  5. Convey the language of physical touch in appropriate ways.

Based on the #1 New York Times bestseller, The 5 Love Languages, Dr. Chapman and Dr. White give you practical steps to make any workplace environment more encouraging and productive.

Access:  The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

This brief unpacks the trends in student persistence across higher education and explores various institutional and student services strategies in more detail to arm institutions with useful retention tools.

Access:  Hanover Research – Turning the Tide on Student Retention 

Long before the pandemic, teacher recruitment, preparation, and retention topped the list of NASBE members’ priorities for better information to guide state board policymaking and convening. The authors in this issue answer that call with diverse perspectives on policies affecting educators and the school systems where they work.  Key articles include the following:

Access:  National Association of State Boards of Education – Equipping Teachers 

Teacher recruitment, preparation, and retention have long topped the list of state board priorities, and the pandemic only increased the urgency of state efforts. NASBE’s latest State Education Standard explores strategies states can use to meet school staffing challenges and strengthen the teaching profession.

Access:  National Association of State Boards of Education  -  Meeting Education Staffing Challenges through Grow-Your-Own Programs 

Educator shortages and the burnout of teachers and school leaders in the wake of the pandemic have been the subject of news headlines and on the agendas of state boards of education. In its recent announcement of federal initiatives to address staffing challenges, the Biden administration signaled its commitment to strengthen the profession. With timely, relevant insights, authors of NASBE’s latest State Education Standard deliver diverse perspectives on attracting, retaining, and equipping high-quality teachers and improving the capacity of school systems to support them.

Access:  National Association of State Boards of Education - NASBE’s Standard Explores Strategies to Better Prepare, Recruit, and Support Teachers    

Solving educator shortages requires evidence-based, long-term strategies that address both recruitment and retention.

Access:  National Education Association – Five Ways to Improve Educator Retention 

Solving educator shortages requires evidence-based, long-term strategies that address both recruitment and retention.

Access:   National Education Association – Five Ways Schools Districts Can Better Retain Educators 

Solving the teacher shortage, along with shortages of support staff like bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and custodians, requires long-term, evidence-based strategies.  

Access:  National Education Association – Recruit and Retain Educators   

"Policymakers must take action to fix the underlying issues — underfunding, poverty and inequality — that have dug us into the deep hole that we’re now in."

Access:  The Teacher Shortage Can Be Addressed — With Key Changes

A student's success is directly tied to the effectiveness of their teacher, which is why educator effectiveness is one of the top priorities for school and district leaders. Not only are they focused on increasing the effectiveness of their team, they are also faced with the challenge of keeping their most effective teachers in the classroom to provide stability for the workforce and the consistency needed for students to succeed. With all of the challenges presented by the pandemic, the stakes have only heightened for leaders and they are searching for solutions for increased teacher effectiveness and improved retention of their effective teachers. In Louisiana, a group of schools has found success by using strategies centered around enhancing teachers' work environment and building educator capacity.

Access:  National Institute for Execellence in Teaching (NIET)  How a Group of Louisiana Schools is Implementing a Bold System to Retain Their Most Effective Teachers    

Private and charter schools have detailed plans, allocated funding, and hired specialized companies for student recruitment. Traditional public schools must cultivate an effort to match the energy and join the conversation.

Access:   National School Boards Association – The Competition Is Recruiting Your Students 

Districts come up with creative solutions to fill critical positions.

Access:  National School Boards Association – Staffing Shortage Woes 

The number of teachers hired by schools in the U.S. has grown significantly in recent years, but an increasingly challenging problem facing schools and school districts is teacher attrition. One solution to helping schools retain and grow effective teachers in a supportive and efficient manner may be the use of a third-party instructional coach.

Access:  National School Boards Association – Teacher Retention – A Growing Problem 

Ideas-driven, evidence-based, and strategically powerful, Professional Capital combats the tired arguments and stereotypes of teachers and teaching. It includes action guidelines for classroom teachers, administrators, schools and districts, and state and federal leaders. This is a book that no one connected with schools can afford to ignore.

Access:  Professional Capital by Andy Hargreaves and Michael Fullan 

NEW TOOL! Based on Professional Capital by Andy Hargreaves and Michael Fullan In their effort to help teachers and leaders cultivate and circulate professional capital in their schools and systems, Michael Fullan and Andy Hargreaves have created a professional capital index that seeks to:

  • assist teachers and school leaders to self-assess the status of professional capital in their schools, and
  • deepen understanding of how and to what extent schools and educational systems develop and circulate professional capital.

Access:  Professional Capital – Teacher and Principal On-Line Survey 


The Regents Alternative Pathway to Iowa Licensure (RAPIL) brings the talents and expertise of engineers, chemists, mathematicians, musicians, business leaders, writers, artists and other professionals to Iowa’s secondary classrooms.

Real-world experience is married with a foundation in pedagogy to cultivate educators who bring a new perspectives on instruction and a wealth of knowledge to Iowa students.

Access:  Regents Alternative Pathway to Iowa Licensure (RAPIL)

A nationwide shortage of teachers that began developing in the past several years is accelerating. While all states have teacher shortages, a handful are worse off than others. They include California, Nevada, Washington, Indiana, Arizona, Hawaii and the District of Columbia.

Teacher shortages concern educators because larger class sizes result in students receiving less individual attention. And classroom sizes continue to increase across the country—due to teacher shortages and rapid population growth.

Against this backdrop, teachers making an effort to earn specialized certificates and advance their knowledge of classroom technology tools will find no shortage of job opportunities.

Access:  States in Every Part of the Country Have Teacher Shortages

This book is designed to support the transformation of educators into strategic talent leaders. The author’s research-based "Strategic Talent Leadership Framework" gives leaders the tools for acquiring, accelerating, advancing and assessing educator talent. Each chapter features an illustrative case, best practices, a ready-to-use tool for advancing those practices, a set of "talent analytics" and an action step planner. This guidebook is for education leaders who seek to assess current performance, adopt research-based strategies for engaging in strategic human capital practices, set goals around the use of those practices and measure the impact of their work on student outcomes. Accessible and actionable, Strategic Talent Leadership for Educators is not only a guide, but a toolkit for putting research into practice.

Access:  Strategic Talent Leadership for Educators 1st Edition

This page was last updated: 6/1/24