Now that I am safely in my new job as a physics and chemistry teacher, I can share a few more facts about my old employer. I am still somewhat restricted for other reasons, but let me share:
My old school has a very high turnover rate in the core subjects: Science, English, and Math.
There are 22 teachers in those subjects.
- There are nine science teaching positions. In the two years since I was hired there, those nine positions have been filled with 17 different teachers.
- There are six math positions. During those same two years, those six positions have been filled with eight different teachers.
- There are seven English positions. During the past two years, there have been nine different teachers.
22 classrooms filled with 34 teachers in the past two years. That equates to an annual turnover rate of 40% for core subjects, and a whopping 100% annual turnover rate in the Science department. There has not been a single Science teacher who has been there longer than 5 years and the average is less than two years.
Florida has a big problem retaining teachers. Average teacher turnover in the nation is 20 percent, with this school doubling that in the core subjects. Reading the link you can see that students getting teachers fired is not a problem that is unique to my previous employer.
High turnover is expensive. One study claimed that taxpayers in Florida paid out $130 million in additional costs due to the teacher retention problem.
As for me and my new job, I have my work cut out for me. My students have been with substitutes for the past two months, and are woefully behind. There are 60 school days left in the year, and I will be spending them trying to get my students caught up to where they should be and having to make up for them losing nearly a quarter of the school year’s instructional time.