Principals important in keeping teachers around - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Principals important in keeping teachers

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The need for teachers is greater now than ever but getting teachers to stick around has always been a challenge. A recent study by Georgia State University shows good leadership is key at getting teachers to stay.

If you ask almost any teacher, he or she will tell you the job is far from easy.

"You can go to Wal-mart you're the teacher, you can go to school you're the teacher, you can go to the grocery store you're the teacher, you're always the teacher so its not easy but you have to love what you do," said third grade teacher Rebecca Harper.

Numbers from the U.S bureau of Labor statistics show educators resigned at a rate of 13% in 2008.

"Well they come in there is an extremely heavy workload. There is also a lot of emotional attachment with the children and there are a lot of things we deal with that we really don't have control of, said Diane Lane, Principal of G.O Bailey Primary School.

A recent study published in the Journal of Teacher Education shows that positive relationships between teachers and administrators were one of the main reason teachers chose to stay put.

Principal Diane Lane, says at her school there is a very small turnover rate and she credits that to an open door policy where she constantly seeks input from her teachers.

"Our teachers know that they can come into our office at any time sit down and talk through their problems were always here to help," said Principal Lane.

"I never feel like a number, I don't think anyone at our school feels like a number, she makes us feel special," said  Rebecca Harper.

Principal Lane says she goes by the old saying, treat others as you would like to be treated. "I just always wanted to remember where I came from. I started out as a new teacher and that there are problems a teacher faces every day I wanted to be that person that did understand just never forget where I came from as that teacher on day 1 or year 21."

Rebecca describes working at her school like working with her family an experience every teacher should have.

Other reasons teachers said they would stick around include a diverse student population and a work environment that emphasizes academic achievement.

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