Principal Leadership and Professional Learning Communities: What Beginning Teachers Value
Beginning teachers in the United States continue to exit the classroom in alarming numbers, despite numerous recruitment and retention strategies. High turnover rates negatively affect instruction and, ultimately, student achievement. The purpose of this empirical inquiry of beginning-teacher retention issues is to better understand what new teachers value in a school leader within the context of professional learning communities. Twelve schools with low beginning-teacher attrition and transfer request rates were identified, and focus group interviews were conducted with four to six new teachers in each school (i.e., teachers with 1 to 3 years of experience, N = 61). Findings indicate that beginning teachers relate principal leadership, mentoring, and professional learning communities to their job satisfaction.
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