TeacherLists Blog

Teacher Shortage: How to Attract and Retain Staff

Hiring teachers is difficult right now. The teacher shortage is a problem school administrators know all too well. Hiring season is in full swing: if you’re finding your positions aren’t being filled as quickly as you had hoped, here are changes you can make now.  


Start the hiring process early 

Get ahead of the hiring process by posting earlier than the surrounding schools. Your hiring strategy may have to change, but in order to get the most qualified candidates, this is a necessary change to make. If it’s too late for this year, commit to make this change next hiring season.  


Seek out local education hiring events/job fairs 

Hosting a table at an education hiring event is a sure way to find someone who’s a good fit, especially when you’re able to talk to the person first instead of sifting through application after application. 


Offer thorough mentorship for new hires 

While interviewing potential teachers, walk them through the mentorship they’ll receive while they’re getting the hang of things. Assure them that they’ll have help every step of the way to show them how administration is there to be their support system.  


Optimize SEO in your job posts

Prospective teachers are searching things like “teaching jobs near me” or “teacher positions (x location)”. Ensure that your job postings are among the top of the search results by optimizing SEO on your website and job posts. If you’re not sure how to get started, programs like Google Ads and WordPress can be a huge help! 


Say no to hiring software 

The number of applications received can seem overwhelming, but the reality of the situation is that a person needs to be the one viewing those applications. Too many perfect fits are left out of the hiring process because small phrasing choices and resume layouts get them disqualified by electronic resume reviewers. Take a more human approach and decide for yourself who is a good fit: it may even tell prospective teachers that you take a human approach to education too! 


Celebrate your schools publicly 

Be active on social media! Celebrate your district’s successes like athletic victories, musicals and plays, band concerts, and student galleries. Brag away when your schools do well during standardized testing season! Make sure educators know the lives of their students and staff are being celebrated by their district leaders. Teachers are an investment!  

Tips for retaining your staff

Staff retention is the key to ending the teacher shortage in your district. Students often suffer education gaps when there’s high turnover, and districts spend tens of thousands of dollars on new hires that leave shortly after. To retain your staff, it’s crucial that you work to make your district the place to be. Here are some tips on retaining your staff, whether they’re new hires or tenured educators.

Education Elements has released an Ultimate Guide on teacher retention, outlining the steps district leaders can take to make both now and long-term.

Education Elements recommends starting at your school’s “point of belonging”. This means districts should “asses systems, structures, and employee experience, especially in marginalized groups,” to find patterns that could lead to employees being unhappy. This could be looking at which roles have the highest turnover, which roles have the most or least opportunity for growth, etc.. The line of belonging aims to be a threshold that makes everyone feel comfortable and supported in their current roles and their future in your district.


What teachers are saying…

You asked, we got the answers. We took to Facebook to ask teachers what they would ask for if they could have any wish granted by their principals. Here’s what we found:  


Improved support from administration 

A few teachers expressed frustration with their administration that rules weren’t being enforced, and that their schools didn’t support teachers in instances of parent/teacher conflict.  


Smaller class sizes 

25 or fewer students seemed to be the sweet spot for these teachers!  


Subject recognition 

One teacher in our comments was advocating for the proper recognition of the arts! Support for music and art in schools should be prioritized just like sports.  

Originally posted 2023

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