AIR staff partnered with Public Agenda to gain insights into the workplace characteristics that appeal to teachers today and the factors that may lead them to leave the teaching profession. With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Joyce Foundation, the 2009 Retaining Teacher Talent study involved a national telephone survey of 890 teachers (including an oversample of 240 teachers from the incoming generation of teachers, Generation Y) and eight focus groups around the country with Gen Y teachers.
The study resulted in three reports:
- Teaching for a Living, which described the views and dispositions of teachers who are considered idealists, contented, or disheartened;
- The View from Generation Y, which explored the workplace priorities of this new generation of teachers; and
- Convergence and Contradictions in Teachers’ Perceptions of Policy Reform Ideas, which draws attention to discrepancies between the policy dialogue around teacher quality reform and the voice of teachers on the ground.
The project also created videos of Generation Y teachers discussing a range of important issues, including evaluation, professional development, compensation, collaboration, and the importance of school principals.
Each of the reports and resources developed from the study are located at the project website: www.RetainingTeacherTalent.org.