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Rural Districts at Disadvantage When Recruiting Teachers

Rural Districts at Disadvantage When Recruiting Teachers

Teacher recruitment and retention are consistent issues in education, but rural districts might have the hardest time dealing with them.

According to NPTelegraph.com, rural districts have the hardest time recruiting and retaining teachers for a variety of reasons.

"One issue is access to activities. Typically, beginning professionals want to live in areas with a variety of attractions. That variety often comes with an urban setting," the article said.

In addition to issues with the setting, professionals might opt for urban settings over rural ones because of the demographic. Because young teachers want to be around people close to their own age, they might steer away from rural areas because the average age of residents is older.

And quite simply, there are more opportunities in more populated areas than rural ones, so professionals are likely to skip over less populated areas with less opportunities right away.

For rural districts, then, teacher retention is extremely important.

Many districts are turning to pay incentives to little success. “'People can earn a higher income the longer they remain at their post. We also provide stipends for $300 twice per year, but that has not improved the situation much. Our turnover is similar to what it was before,'" said North Platte Public Schools associate superintendent Tami Eshleman to NPTelegraph.

Establishing relationships and solid mentorship programs is another priority of rural districts struggling to recruit and retain teachers; building closeness between staff has proven to reduce turnover significantly.

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

06/15/2015

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