“120 Ways to Lose your Teachers: Teacher Retention Factors for School Leaders to Act On”. Longdon, S., Webb, C., July 2019. Conference: BELMAS Annual Conference 2019 – ‘Educational Leadership for Social Change’.At: Jury’s Inn, Hinckley Island, Leicestershire, United Kingdom. 12-14th July 2019.
This case study explores factors that contribute to teacher turnover and the opinions of educators on what can be improved to aid retention based on a study conducted in an international school in Dubai, UAE. Collecting attitudinal data and determining the most significant factors that affected teachers’ employment decisions supported the evaluation of leadership’s impact on the retention of international-school teachers. Two stages of data collection were conducted in a mixed method design, consisting of semi-structured interviews (n=10) and asurvey (n=80). The sequential sampling and staged research approach were usedto add credibility to the research by synthesising the findings from bothmethods to support triangulation. The study discovered that in the opinions of these educators, 120 factors either cause or contribute to teacher turnover and retention. Of this multitude of factors, leadership was the most significant reason teachers left the School, which was primarily caused by the lack of appreciation or recognition leaders show towards their staff. The main reasons teachers stayed in the School was due to the familiarity they had established with their colleagues and the work environment. Teachers believed that leadership’s behaviour was the most significant area to improve to retain teachersdue to the perceived lack of recognition, support, empathy, approachability, instructional involvement, autonomy and trust in teachers their leaders provide. These findings provide educational leaders in international schools around the world, and in particular, Dubai, valuable information on what influences teacher employment plans. With this knowledge, leaders can select effective leadership styles and interventions to retain teachers.
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