Insight Help Center


Schools must retain their most effective teachers over time to support strong instruction and student learning. In this Insight survey domain, teachers report their retention plans and what strategies they have experienced that will make them more likely to remain at their current school.


Based on our extensive experience, TNTP recommends the following as evidence-based practices for this domain:

  • Set retention targets at the district or network level for retaining the most effective teachers who demographically match your student population and counseling out low performers.
  • Monitor retention rates by key metrics (e.g., teacher race, age, sex, school, subject/content area) to identify, understand, and remedy discrepancies in teacher experience.
  • Make meeting these retention targets a significant component of a school leader’s evaluation.
  • Monitor school working conditions and address concerns that drive away the most effective teachers. For instance, track exit survey data on why strong teachers leave and what they plan to do next.
  • Set a new standard for effectiveness and dismiss or counsel out teachers who consistently perform below it.
  • Use low-cost strategies to help high performers feel valued, like recognizing accomplishments publicly, identifying opportunities for teacher leader roles, and informing them that they are high performing.
  • Make it easier to counsel out low performers by creating alternatives to formal dismissal, such as helping them transition to other roles or reassigning them to substitute pools.


Resource Description
Teacher Talent Toolbox: Retention A collection of tools and ideas for retaining the most effective teachers
The Irreplaceables: Understanding the Real Retention Crisis in America’s Urban Schools A summary of TNTP’s research on teacher retention
New Teacher Onboarding and Cultivation Guide A guide to developing in-person and remote teacher onboarding plans and cultivating new hires before the start of the school year
Perspectives of Irreplaceable Teachers A report that shares findings from a nationwide survey of top teachers’ perspectives on their classrooms and careers
Greenhouse Schools: How Schools Can Build Cultures where Students and Teachers Thrive A report on what TNTP learned from surveying thousands of teachers in 250 schools nationwide about several dimensions of their schools’ cultures
Getting Teachers of Color in the Door Isn’t Enough TNTP blog post on the importance of creating inclusive, equitable school cultures that retain and support teachers of color
If You Listen We Will Stay An EdTrust report that details the experiences and perspectives of teachers of color and offers suggestions to improve retention
Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath A research-based guide to creating lasting culture change
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni An exploration of five common group dysfunctions and how to overcome them
The Trusted Advisor by David H. Maister, Charles H. Green, and Robert M. Galford A guide to establishing and maintaining trusting relationships

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