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Reimagining the Teaching Job

Students deserve teachers who thrive in a job that is dynamic, rewarding, collaborative and sustainable—especially as we all work to recover from the learning, family, and community losses of the past few years. But in an era of unparalleled innovation, the job of an American teacher remains stubbornly unchanged. 

Teachers are expected to do it all, in positions that aren’t flexible enough to accommodate the unique challenges of their districts. This one-size-fits-all approach is leading to higher teacher turnover and burnout—and school districts are left scrambling to hire, guide, and retain new staff. By reimagining the teaching job, district leaders can give educators the support they need to have the greatest positive impact on student learning and well-being. 

Reimagining the teaching job requires bold leadership and a willingness to challenge long-held assumptions about how people, time, and money are organized in our schools. It’s not an easy task—but it is possible. It will require leaders to secure broad buy-in, restructure long-term costs, invest in school leadership, and develop strategies for continuous improvement to make this vision a reality. By adopting a “Do Now, Build Toward” approach, leaders can address both school- and system-level structures and practices through doable starting points—and take meaningful steps in service of a truly reimagined teaching job. 




The traditional one-size-fits-all teaching job isn’t working. Ensuring students receive high-quality instruction from well-supported teachers with sustainable workloads means reimagining the teaching role itself.


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How system leaders can drive lasting change

Redesigning the teaching job and reducing turnover doesn’t have to require significant budget investment. By strategically redistributing resources, system leaders can make sustainable change that sticks. 


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teaching job
tools & resources

Realizing a bold new vision for the teaching job requires careful planning and strategic action—and research-backed tools designed to help leaders take action.


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Latest Analyses of School-Level Turnover

NEW: Attract and Retain Teachers With a Strategic Compensation Model

Traditional teacher compensation models that focus on across-the-board salary increases aren’t meaningfully impacting teacher retention where it matters most.

Our latest paper reveals how strategic approaches to teacher compensation—along with other critical factors—can help foster a more rewarding, dynamic, and sustainable teaching job. Learn more here.

Teacher Turnover Trends: Research Shows That More Teachers Are Leaving Their Schools Now Than Before the Pandemic

Our analysis of teacher retention in six large, urban school districts, shows that school-level turnover rates are now higher than pre-pandemic levels—especially among rookie teachers and in high-poverty schools. Explore our interactive analysis and discover how district leaders can mitigate the turnover cycle by making the teaching job more attractive, sustainable, and supportive, particularly in high-need schools. Learn more.

When Principals Leave, Teachers Do, Too 

Our analysis of five years’ worth of teacher employment data from six large, urban school districts across the country highlights a turnover cycle: When principals leave their schools, teachers are more likely to leave, as well.

To address this cycle, system leaders need to expand their focus to better supporting teachers and their principals. Read more.

More Resources

ERS' David Rosenberg Joins WNYC Studio's The Takeaway Podcast

Rosenberg recently joined WNYC Studio's The Takeaway podcast with Melissa Harris-Perry to discuss causes of teacher shortages, where shortages are felt most in the U.S., how the political landscape affects educators, and how to retain teachers and improve the core teaching job.

Rosenberg & Miles: Teachers Shouldn’t Have to Be Superheroes to Get the Job Done

The current moment offers unique opportunities to reimagine how school districts approach teaching and learning, with the potential for significant near- and long-term benefits for students, families and educators.

Pawnee ISD: Utilizing the Additional Days School Year

We interviewed leaders at Pawnee ISD to see how they're leveraging an Additional Days School Year grant from the Texas Education Agency to provide students with outdoor learning activities and educators with professional learning and collaboration opportunities. 

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