Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency

What impact is Teacher Leadership having on beginning teachers?

Might it be time for a crucial examination of and conversation about the impact of teacher leadership roles on student learning. What about impact on Beginning Teacher efficacy and retention?

The past three publications of the Educator Connection included articles about the importance of self-efficacy and teacher collective efficacy, and the impact on student learning. Teachers with high efficacy impact student learning. The effect size of self-efficacy is .63, well beyond the .40 effect size that equates to one year of student growth with one year of input.

Teachers need scheduled and consistent time to collaborate with a coach about how to hone their craft based on student needs. High leverage coaching practices that have impact are when the coach and teacher interactions focus on:

  1. analyzing student work
  2. planning standards-based lessons
  3. being observed, and
  4. reflecting on observation data as well as receiving feedback the teacher has requested.

What is the cost of not focusing on the self-efficacy of beginning teachers within their first two years of teaching? Have school boards, superintendents, and principals considered the cost of teacher retention?

Districts in three other AEAs have considered the financial cost and the student learning cost. Their solution to the cycle of low teacher retention rates and cost to student learning was to form an Induction Consortium for Beginning Teachers called the Iowa Teacher Collaborative.

  • Recruiting, hiring, and training replacement teachers is between $4,366-$10,000 in rural districts and $15,325-$17,872 in urban districts.
  • The retention rate of Beginning Teachers in Iowa is 70 percent.
  • The retention rate of Beginning Teachers in the Iowa Teacher Collaborative is 95 percent within the Consortium and 85 percent within district.

A rigorous research study showed that students taught by Beginning Teachers who are supported by a  trained Induction Coach experience up to  five months of growth in literacy and math compared to students taught by teachers in a traditional mentoring program.

Might it be time for a crucial examination of and conversation about the impact of teacher leadership roles, specifically coaches and mentors, on student learning and Beginning Teacher efficacy and retention? If so, please consider attending future conversations about a possible Induction Consortium for Beginning Teachers. Please contact Jaymie Randel,, for a collaborative conversation regarding the content of this article.


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