Dr. Todd Rhodes

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Title Teacher Support Systems in Rural Nebraska: Components that Impact Teacher Retention
Author Rhodes, Todd
School Doane University
Degree EdD
Date 2019
Adviser Frey, Timothy
Pages 108
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Abstract The classroom teacher has been found to have the greatest impact on student learning and student achievement. Many school districts utilize one or more professional development models to support teacher capacity and growth. The importance of the classroom teacher cannot be understated. Yet, teacher retention and attrition has reached concerning levels across the nation. Teachers leave the educational profession for a variety of reasons. Much research has been conducted on teacher characteristics and school organizational factors that impact teacher retention. However, studies are void of research of the relationship of teacher support systems and teacher retention.

The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the relationship between teacher support systems and teacher retention in rural Nebraska schools. Nebraska rural schools often have a difficult time recruiting and retaining qualified teachers. Most Nebraska rural schools have one or more teacher support systems in place to help develop teachers. Due to resources and location those teacher support systems may be less developed and formalized. Teacher support systems for this study were categorized into four composite variables: induction programs, mentoring, peer coaching, and professional learning communities. A quantitative questionnaire was developed by the researcher for the purpose of this study. The questionnaire was sent out to 151 Nebraska superintendents whose school district had a Nebraska Schools Activities Association (NSAA) 3-grade enrollment of 110 students or less. Of the 151 emails that were sent, 83 surveys returned were considered complete. The resulting response rate was 54.9%.

Multiple regression procedures were computed to predict teacher retention. Findings of this study indicated that the selected teacher support systems were not statistically significant in predicting teacher retention. However, one component variable, instructional strategies, was found to have a significant impact on teacher retention.

Based on the findings, recommendations for future research were included. While there was an abundance of individual research on teacher support systems and teacher retention there are opportunities for research around the possible relationship that exist between the two. There are undoubtedly more variables impacting teacher support systems and teacher retention. Future research may include studies collecting quantitative and qualitative data on the aforementioned variables through a mixed method approach.

 

 
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