The Questions Everyone Asks: Teacher Turnover
Superintendent’s Blog – 2019 Summer Series
At the end of each school year, we say goodbye to staff members that are moving on and welcome new staff members to our family. God has blessed Parkview with incredible staff throughout its history. Teaching is not a profession for the faint of heart. It is complex and stressful, and our teachers continue to handle it with grace and passion. I know you join me in expressing gratitude for our departing staff and all they have given to our students and parents.
While Parkview has enjoyed low to normal turnover throughout its history, there seems to be more of a parent buzz regarding high school turnover this year. Yes, we have a higher number of high school staff leaving compared to other divisions, and I believe this is feeding into the misinformation that is coming back to my desk. I follow retention numbers and reasons for departures very closely each year and can tell you that there is a normal reason for all of our departures this year. I can’t control what people say or infer, but I am always open to a phone call or a conversation about anything Parkview. No parent should ever feel that I am not accessible on any issue, including this one.
The reasons for high school departures include several things converging at once including retirement, moving, taking care of family businesses, and following other opportunities. It is common with a major head coaching change, like we had in football, to account for movement in numerous other positions.
There is a difference between a convergence of circumstances in one year and a trend. If I ever notice a trend that is alarming, I can assure all parents that it will be addressed. We had a similar situation happen in another division a few years ago. It looked alarming, but like this past year, upon closer review, it too was a convergence of multiple personal and professional changes. For instance, one year we had 12 babies born to staff members.
I am concerned that several employees received better offers from another school, and several others that went into a completely different industry. While we want to do all that we can to retain experienced staff, we never want to hold an employee back from a better situation for their family. These employees have communicated closely with me and have left with my sadness, but blessing. The Board, parents and I always need to be pushing for a better situation for our teachers in terms of teacher discounts and pay. We will continue to do our best for our faculty while keeping a balance of an appropriate tuition level.
We are also facing generational trends (you may be seeing these in your workplace). Younger teachers are much more transient and do not stay in a single job for decades like previous generations. They love to travel and experience new locations and opportunities. Family mobility has increased and job changes are more frequent today. This is not necessarily a negative, it is just a change in the way people choose to live and one to which we will adjust.
Parkview has enjoyed an outstanding history of very dedicated teachers; I am encouraged about our future and look forward to sharing the experience and passion of our new faculty and staff with you. Our current faculty who have begun working with our new hires have remarked on their energy, spirit, and expertise.
God cares deeply about the young lives we touch, and He has not disappointed in helping us reload for a great future. It is a great time to be an Eagle!!