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Relationships Matter: Qualitative Interviews with Head Start Preschool Teachers on Turnover Rates. Michael Wells David Serrano. Is this a big issue?. 33% of teachers leave their schools within the first 3 years; 46% within the first five Brill & McCartney, 2008

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relationships matter qualitative interviews with head start preschool teachers on turnover rates

Relationships Matter: Qualitative Interviews with Head Start Preschool Teachers on Turnover Rates

Michael Wells

David Serrano

is this a big issue
Is this a big issue?
  • 33% of teachers leave their schools within the first 3 years; 46% within the first five Brill & McCartney, 2008
  • 50% of new teachers leave within five years

Corbell, Obsorne, & Reiman, 2010

  • High turnover costs (ranging from $2.2 billion to $4.9 billion) Alliance for Excellent Education, 2005; Kersaint, 2005
  • In a mid-sized CA school district, they found that for every dollar spent on teacher support, they had a return of $1.66 after 5 years Villar & Strong, 2007
so why do teachers quit
So why do teachers quit?
  • Intrinsic Motivations
    • Personal teaching efficacy
    • Working with students
    • Job Satisfaction

Perrachione, Rosser, & Petersen, 2008

  • Extrinsic Motivations
    • Low salary
    • Work Overload Perrachione, Rosser, & Petersen, 2008
    • Student behavior
    • Poor leadership and administration Brill & McCartney, 2008

Perrachione, Rosser, & Petersen, 2008

retaining teachers is important because
Retaining teachers is important because…
  • Can’t leave the position unfilled
    • Less qualified teachers
    • Substitutes
    • “Out of field” teachers Brill & McCartney, 2008
  • Teachers make dramatic improvements over their first two years of teaching Wyann, Carboni, & Patall, 2007
  • Economic costs
  • Institutional costs
    • Sense of community
    • Strong communication Ingersoll, 2003
retaining teachers is important because1
Retaining teachers is important because…
  • Instructional costs
    • Teacher Experience Teacher Quality
    • Teacher Quality Student Achievement Goldhaber, 2002
  • Impact on low income and minority schools
    • Teacher attrition is greater Prince, 2002
need for head start research on teacher retention
Need for Head Start Research on Teacher Retention
  • Most research is completed on Elementary Schools
  • Few research projects on Early Childhood Education
  • Even less research on Head Start teachers
slide7
AIM

The aim of this study is to learn why Head Start teachers would leave and what changes they want to happen in order to continue working for Head Start

method
Method
  • One major Midwest city
  • 10 Head Start schools included
  • 10 FCEs/ 10 CAs = 20 Interviews
  • Qualitative Interviews
  • Random Teacher Selection
  • Average Interview: 45 minutes
  • All participants were women
questionnaire
Questionnaire
  • Prior to working for Head Start, what is your experience working with children? 
  • Why did you start teaching young children? Why did you start teaching at Head Start?
  • In your opinion, how do you define a job verses a profession? Do you view your position as a job or a profession? Why?
  • Describe your work load.
  • Describe what kinds of administration support (mental health, special needs, center director, education specialist, etc) do you receive in order to perform your job?
questionnaire1
Questionnaire
  • Describe the kind of reflection time you have to think about your position and how you are teaching the children?
  • Do you have obstacles that hinder your teaching? Why or why not?
  • What is your relationship to your other co-workers like (i.e. other classroom staff, other center staff, and your center director)?
  • What are your thoughts on your vacation/sick time (i.e. holiday breaks, summer breaks, scheduling vacation/sick time)?
  • What would convince you to stay (or leave) working for Head Start?
demographics
Demographics

Education

FCE = 1, Masters; 8 Bachelors; 1 Associates

CA = 1, Associates; 9 CDA

Work at FDS

11 worked for FDS longer than 5 years

9 work for FDS under 5 years

Want to work in ECE

1 for 3-4 years

9 for more than 5 years

10 for whole career

  • Gender = All women
  • Race
    • 9 White
    • 11 African American
  • Age
    • 7 were 30 or under
    • 13 were 31 or older
  • Marital Status
    • 13 Single
    • 7 Married
results jobs vs profession
Results: Jobs vs. Profession
  • Job
    • A place you go to earn money
  • Profession
    • A place where you go to earn money, but you enjoy what you are doing, have a passion for the work, and a general feeling of helping others
  • All teachers stated that either they viewed their position as a profession or as a profession with some days as a job   
results 4 themes
Results: 4 Themes
  • Relationships Matter
  • Stress (about Paperwork)
  • Child Behavior
  • Needed Support
discussion
Discussion
  • Relationships Matter
    • The closer to the individual teacher, the more influence they have on retaining or pushing away a teacher
    • Co-teacher –works with, trusts
    • Center Director –looks up to, seeks advice
  • Two issues:
    • Changing Classrooms
    • Center Director doesn’t provide enough coaching/mentoring
resolutions from head start teachers
Resolutions from Head Start Teachers
  • Relationships Matter
    • Limit dividing up Lead and Assistant teachers
    • Allow for teachers to change classrooms or schools if there are openings
    • Center Directors need to form closer relationships with their staff
    • More support needed in the areas of Mental Health and Special Needs
      • Easier access to reaching these departments
      • More consistent on-going visits
stress
Stress
  • Head Start Teachers are stressed!!!
  • But what are they stressed about?
paperwork
Paperwork
  • Anecdotals
  • Lesson Plans
  • Portfolios (which includes several items)
  • USDA Forms
  • Leveling of Children
  • Taking Pictures/Video
  • Documenting Artwork
  • Home Visit Forms
  • TS Gold Documentation
  • Family Conference Form
  • eDECA
  • Brigance
  • Documenting Reggio Boards
stress1
Stress
  • Not stressed about co-workers
  • Not stressed about Center Director
  • Not stressed about parents
  • Not stressed about preschool children
  • Not stressed about paperwork
stress2
Stress

Stressed about the TIME needed to complete paperwork

  • Expected to complete during work hours
  • Early Morning/Late Afternoon
  • Children Sleeping
  • Teachers felt like some paperwork was meaningless
discussion1
Discussion
  • Stress
    • At least one child is normally there at the start and end of the day
    • At least one child is normally awake during most or all of nap time
    • Anecdotals are shredded at the end of the year
  • Complete paperwork in one of two ways:
    • Neglect children and complete paperwork during the school day
    • Take paperwork home to complete
resolutions from head start teachers1
Resolutions from Head Start Teachers
  • Stress on Paperwork :
    • Having specific time off from teaching to reflect and complete paperwork
      • Start the school day an hour later Allowing for 5 hours
      • End the school day an hour early of planning per week
      • Every Friday is a training day—Half Day Friday’s
      • Make all classrooms like half day—Friday’s off for children
child behavior
Child Behavior
  • Head Start teachers expected to have children with behavior problems
  • At least one behavior problem in nearly all classrooms
  • Multiple behavior problems in some classrooms
discussion2
Discussion
  • Child Behavior
    • Parents may not know how or be consistent with discipline
    • Teachers filled out Incident Forms, but did not receive support
      • Blamed Center Directors
      • Blamed Mental Health
resolutions from head start teachers2
Resolutions from Head Start Teachers
  • Child Behavior
    • Allow teachers to contact Mental Health more easily
    • Have accountability to Mental Health for visiting classrooms consistently, on-going
    • Have accountability to Mental Health for ensuring that teachers are following their suggestions
      • Not just asking if teachers are using strategies
      • Observe teachers and critique in real time
    • Provide parents with child behavior education courses
needed support
Needed Support
  • Education Specialist visit rooms the most often
    • Observe Teacher-Child Interactions
    • Classroom Environment
    • Portfolios
  • Resource Specialists (Special Needs) visit the second most
    • Check to see if IEP is on Lesson Plan
    • Ask teacher if they need any help implementing IEP
  • Center Directors
    • Saying Good Morning
    • Observing
    • Checklists
discussion3
Discussion
  • Needed Support
    • Teachers do not receive support on their actual teaching
    • Classroom Assistants received less support from Center Directors than the Lead Teacher
    • Teachers did not receive on-going support regarding their new philosophy (Reggio)
    • Teachers do not know how to handle certain IEP issues
    • Teachers do not know how to handle child behavior issues
resolutions from head start teachers3
Resolutions from Head Start Teachers
  • Needed Support
    • Center Directors/Education Specialists need to provide more on-going Reggio support
    • Center Directors need to schedule more time to be in classrooms as mentors/coaches/advisors
    • Managers should make an effort to speak with both the Lead and Assistant teachers
    • Education Specialists should spend more time critiquing teaching and teacher-child interactions
    • Special Needs should observe and critique at the point of service
    • Mental Health should come to the classrooms more frequently and critique at the point of service
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Teachers work for Head Start because that’s what they want to do for their career
  • Teachers leave the company for all sorts of reasons
  • Many of the reasons are preventable
  • Develop a realistic plan based off of teachers’ suggestions
credits
Credits

1. http://cae2k.com/photos-of-bars-0/pictures-interviews.html

2. http://www.ccsf.edu/NEW/en/about-city-college/jobs-at-ccsf.html

3. http://www.positive-thinking-for-you.com/causes-of-stress.html

4. http://www.burtchiropractic.com/2010/12/31/7-tips-for-stress-management/

5. http://acccbuzz.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/too-much-paperwork/

6. http://www.theawall.com/node/104