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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Teaching Effectiveness and Student Achievement






Angelo State University

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Wages that are not commensurate with level of education (National Association of Colleges and Employers [NACE], 2013), demanding responsibilities, and pressures leveraged by high-stakes testing and evaluation, have led to soaring rates of attrition and a disproportionate number of beginning teachers in U.S. classrooms. Teacher experience has decreased from a mode of 15 years in 1978–1988 to five in 2011–2012 (Ingersoll, Merrill, & Stuckey, 2014). And, nearly half of all teachers leave within five years costing U.S. public schools 2.6 billion dollars annually (Alliance for Excellent Education [AEE], 2004). These trends in the teaching workforce have important implications for school improvement, given that teachers show significant growth in their formative years (Henry, Bastian, & Fortner, 2011; Kersting, Chen, & Stigler, 2013; Rivkin, Hanushek, & Kain, 2005) and that all teacher turnover harms student achievement (Ronfeldt, Loeb, & Wyckoff, 2013). For these reasons, the insights of mid-career and veteran teachers who have successfully navigated the treacherous first years are especially important, particularly in comparison to their earlycareer counterparts. We wonder: Is there a way of thinking about the struggles and successes within teaching that buffer teachers from their environmental stressors and supports retention?



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