School districts struggle to retain teachers

Abbey Spruill, a first-year English II teacher at Dickinson High School, talks with students about a writing assignment on what’s important to them Friday. Many school districts in the county and across the state are struggling to retain teachers.

Some of the most worrisome, although perhaps least surprising, news of late was that public school districts in Galveston County are finding it increasingly difficult to find and retain teachers.

Aspects of the local problem aren’t new and are specific enough that they don’t necessarily imply a widespread problem. School districts have long reported difficulty finding enough teachers with specialized skills, for example, and small districts have always struggled to compete with larger districts on wages and benefits.

Michael A. Smith: 409-683-5206;


(6) comments

Paula Flinn

If teachers feel safe, and if they get regular raises, they will stay. Administrations should cherish, respect, and reward their teachers and staff. Teaching in today’s public schools is not an easy job.

George Croix

An article that should get everybody's attention....even WITH what passes for a K-12 education these days, sooo many people are utterly clueless about the basics of their country's history, about the workings of their governments, and face challenges separating reality from indoctrination...imo....

COMPOUND all that by a tendency to get worse, which will happen, imo again, as education further devolves into too much of an experiment in social experimenting and political correctness, and the young adukts of today will be facing an even more grim time when they are as old as us old codgers of today.

What can be done about:

“This is pre-retirement turnover, mostly driven by dissatisfaction...”

"Frustration about a lack of influence over decisions and curriculum more than dissatisfaction with pay and benefits..."

"...with the recent attacks on public education and the deprived school finance system..."

For one thing, those who do so could stop talking out of two faces and quit making a problem worse by willfully aiding in increasing the load on teachers above what it should be.....

The fastest way to demoralize anyone tasked with a job is to give them one that is impossible to complete to expectations, under the theory that it's better to overload than underload, and they'll just have to learn to 'do more with less'.....

Can't fix that......

Paula Flinn

Only Administration can fix those problems.
Respect your teachers and staff and reward them.
Listen to them and include them in decisions.
That is the answer.

Meg Cagnola

Let the teachers have more control in their classrooms. Support your teachers, parents and administrators alike. We live in a society where teachers aren't allowed control over their classrooms. When I was in school, teachers could and would remove you from the classroom or put you next to their desk if you didn't behave. These days, the students have no respect for the teachers and their parents don't care. In some cases they even condone their child's behavior.

George Croix

Never forget it...
I had to make ONE trip to see the school Principal in my daughter's pre-school to senior year time. In 3rd grade, she decided she wanted to ride the bus to school, rather than us always driving her. That lasted ONE day. I got called to go to the school.
A 5th grade boy (later I found out had a history of 'incidents') on the bus had pushed her down as she was walking down the aisle to a seat. She got up, knee bleeding, and busted him in the right eye.
The Principal asked what I was going to do about it.
I assured him that I would reward her for defending herself, and asked why the bully kid was not expelled for attacking her.
He said: "We get a stipend from the State based on daily head count...."
In French, that means his few bucks a day per student meant he wouldn't remove someone from school despite a discipline problem.
I feel badly for all the good teachers who have to deal with miserable brats, wannabe thugs, and parents in name only, but worst of all useless administration appendages who care more about a spread sheet than the teachers and the good students....and are intimidated by every single whiner and complainer that hits their door.
Why we pay politicians and lawyers more than teachers and first responders is one of life's mysteries that escapes me...

Wayne Holt

Talk to any public school teacher and you will very likely hear that one of the biggest problems is that broad educational initiatives are launched by those in the legislature who have never set foot in a classroom. From the cozy security of the Capitol, they come up with all sorts of half-baked ideas to dump on teachers and administrators, who must then figure out how to make it all work on top of everything else they are supposed to be doing.

Add in the fact that many kids have no respect for cops let alone teachers (I was told this by a currently serving officer) and it doesn't take a Rhodes Scholar to figure out you are going to have folks bailing as fast as they can.

Let teachers teacher, administrators administer and let the legislature turn their attention to fine tuning something brain surgery.

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