This is the introduction to a series called Holding onto Millennial Teachers: Learning About Why They Stay. The series will explore what motivates them to stay and how those meeting their motivational needs can generate talent pipeline and retention strategies in even the hardest to staff schools.

Approximately 33% of teachers in American public schools leave the field in the first three years, and 50% of them leave in the first five. Hundreds of thousands of them leave every year, and the majority are not retiring but quitting the field entirely.

Prior to COVID-19, in historically marginalized schools, where at…


How are we filling our teachers buckets?

Lauren, a New York City middle school teacher in her 6th year of teaching and her 2nd year of teacher leadership, recently shared some of her thoughts about the importance of developing relationships between and among teachers with me. She said, “I’ve seen schools where everybody’s like, behind closed doors, and they just do their own thing. And it works for them. But it doesn’t work for me. I want to see a bunch of teachers with the students working with them, or just sitting together and eating lunch — having a community beyond just the classroom. …


This is the 9th installment in a series called Holding onto Millennial Teachers: Learning About Why They Stay. The series explores what motivates teachers to stay and how those meeting their motivational needs can generate talent pipeline and retention strategies in even the hardest to staff schools

Here’s the thing: there was a teacher shortage pre-pandemic. Given the multi-faceted challenges teachers have contended with since March of 2020, experts anticipate that the teacher shortage is about to become a full-blown crisis. The current literature on teacher retention illustrates that it is critical to solve this crisis for two reasons: (1)…


This is the 8th installment in a series called Holding onto Millennial Teachers: Learning About Why They Stay. The series explores what motivates them to stay and how those meeting their motivational needs can generate talent pipeline and retention strategies in even the hardest to staff schools.

My previous piece focused on school culture as one response to the problem of teacher attrition. A second response is to focus on professional development, particularly in regard to building the leadership capacity of teachers as a means to retain them. School culture is a critical element in the success of school improvement…


This is the 7th piece in a series called Holding onto Millennial Teachers: Learning About Why They Stay. The series explores what motivates them to stay and how those meeting their motivational needs can generate talent pipeline and retention strategies in even the hardest to staff schools.

For the past three decades, studies of school change have shown positive school culture as mission-critical to improving teaching and learning. According to culture expert, Steve Gruenert, school culture determines the type of conversations faculty have, the level of (unspoken) commitment among faculty, and general faculty efficacy, which in turn informs individual teacher…


This is the 6th piece in a series called Holding onto Millennial Teachers: Learning About Why They Stay. The series explores what motivates them to stay and how those meeting their motivational needs can generate talent pipeline and retention strategies in even the hardest to staff schools.

At about this time last year, when our heads were still spinning (like really spinning) from moving School as a physical institution to something called Remote Learning (not to be confused with Virtual Learning or Distance Learning — both of which were actually designed to be engaged with online), I had the esteemed…


Revolving Doors and Leaky Buckets. (Ingersoll, 2007)

This is the fifth piece in a series called Holding onto Millennial Teachers: Learning About Why They Stay. The series explores what motivates them to stay and how those meeting their motivational needs can generate talent pipeline and retention strategies in even the hardest to staff schools.

Attrition of educators in high-poverty, urban schools has been an ongoing issue. This high attrition has created a vacuum of experienced teachers across the country. Today, teachers are largely of the Millennial generation (born between 1980 and 2000). Millennials, like the generations that have preceded them, want to learn, want leadership opportunities, and…


from Mala Mathew (May, 2018)

This is the fourth piece in a series called Holding onto Millennial Teachers: Learning About Why They Stay. The series explores what motivates them to stay and how those meeting their motivational needs can generate talent pipeline and retention strategies in even the hardest to staff schools.

Since strategically retaining teachers today means strategically retaining Millennials, it is critical to explore how Millennials engage with their work and apply that to the organizational systems in schools.


Are Millennials Attracted to Teaching Careers? by Jennifer Craw, NCEE

This is the third piece in a series called Holding onto Millennial Teachers: Learning About Why They Stay. The series explores what motivates them to stay and how those meeting their motivational needs can generate talent pipeline and retention strategies in even the hardest to staff schools


from Millennial Driven Design by Kate Lau

This is the second installment in a series called Holding onto Millennial Teachers: Learning About Why They Stay. The series explores what motivates them to stay and how those meeting their motivational needs can generate talent pipeline and retention strategies in even the hardest to staff schools.

I began writing about Millennial teachers when things were normal. The teacher shortage had already been a problem for quite some time, particularly for the nation’s neediest students. Teacher recruitment, teacher retention, and teacher development all surfaced as critical facets of this problem. Then, in March of 2020, the whole world changed. COVID-19…

Kami Lewis Levin, Ed.D.

Ed reformer, adult learning expert, working mom. Supporter of all the teachers who are creating a more equitable world every single day. One student at a time.

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