Teacher Recruitment, Burnout, Fit, Attrition, and the Role of the Administrator

Perrone, Frank, Education - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Youngs, Peter, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Eddy Spicer, David, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

Manuscript One: Administrative Climate, Early Career Teacher Burnout, and Turnover

Teacher burnout and turnover are known to be especially high for early career teachers (ECTs). However, the link between burnout and turnover has yet not be explored in education research. This study investigates the role of the administrative climate on ECT burnout and subsequent career decisions using data from Michigan Indiana Early Career Teacher Survey participants (n=184). Linear regressions show that poorer measures of administrative climate are strongly associated with higher levels of burnout. Subsequent logit models reveal that higher burnout, in turn, predicted ECT turnover while administrative climate surprisingly did not. These findings may lend to a better understanding of school leadership’s established role as a top determinant of teacher mobility.

Manuscript Two: Teacher Hiring and Fit within a Diverse District

Education research to date has largely ignored the impact of site-based management and greater principal autonomy in teacher hiring, despite the importance of hiring for school and student success. This comparative case study set in two high schools within a diverse district explores several important but understudied aspects of teacher hiring at the building level. The principals in this study tended to look for teachers who would not only fit the school and position, but also fit the respective department’s subculture. The school leaders also relied on teacher leaders for content knowledge and understanding of their departments’ dynamics in the selection process. This study further finds that certain hiring processes seem to enable but not ensure teacher fit with the school, department, and job.

Manuscript Three: Early Career Teacher Perceptions of Leadership, Levels of Fit, and Attrition in Hard-to-Fill vs. Easy-to-Fill Teaching Positions

This study sets out to create a better understanding of early career teacher (ECT) employment decisions with special attention to the roles of the principal, teacher fit, and the impact of filling a position that is difficult- or easy-to-fill at a school, regardless of a school’s “hard-to-staff” status. The researcher utilizes the Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study, a nationally representative sample of approximately 1,700 beginning teachers over a five-year period. Discrete-time survival analyses and logistic regression determine that strong principal leadership negatively predicts ECT movement to another school but not leaving the profession. Conversely, higher levels of person-job fit are associated with lower odds of leaving the profession but had no relationship with teacher moving. The level of difficulty filling a position did not predict teacher mobility, nor was it associated with perceptions of school leadership or person-job fit.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
principal, school leadership, early career teacher, novice teacher, teacher attrition, teacher retention, teacher hiring, teacher burnout, person-organization fit, person-job fit, person-group fit
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