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5 Ways to Secure the Future of Education Leadership

While reports of teachers leaving the education field have increased over the past several years, retention in the industry seems to be even more far-reaching. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 1 in 10 public school principals left their education leadership roles between the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years. Research from The Superintendent Lab also shows an increasing attrition rate among superintendents nationally. Education Leadership retention

Education leadership like principals and superintendents represent many years of experience in the education industry. When these professionals leave, they bring with them often decades of institutional knowledge—forcing their positions to be filled by less experienced educators and putting the quality of their schools at risk.

To prevent education leadership from leaving too soon, and to set schools and districts up for the best chance of success, it’s important to develop a plan for retention as well as pipeline and succession planning. Here are five ways to help secure the future of your education leadership.

1. Offer Ongoing Professional Development

Professional development opportunities for principals, superintendents, and administrators are just as important as the same opportunities for teachers. Invest in the continuous learning of all staff by maintaining a fund for them to attend conferences and workshops that will help to develop their skills and peak their interests. And when they return from a conference inspired and ready to put those new insights to work, organize an internal workshop to share that knowledge with their colleagues who may not have been able to attend.

2. Encourage Endorsement Opportunities

One of the ways to build a pipeline of future education leadership is to encourage your current educators to pursue their interests in specializing in a particular subject area. Endorsements are certifications that allow individuals to demonstrate their expertise to teach subjects like reading, languages, or STEM (science, technology, engineering, math). Encouraging teachers to add certifications and special skills to their repertoire can help them become more experienced and well-rounded education leaders in the future.

3. Build a Mentorship Program

To ensure institutional knowledge doesn’t leave with your senior-level teachers and other education leadership, build a mentorship program. When veteran educators share their unique insights and experiences with novice teachers, both sides feel valued and more motivated to stay. Courses on mentorship can be offered in a learning management system like Canvas. Implement a registration platform like Learning Stream for a seamless signup process.

4. Collaborate with Partner Schools

Know of a school district or system that seems to manage a great retention strategy among all levels of staff? Meet with them and ask if they are willing to share some tips. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel if another district has already figured it out. Collaborating with partner schools is also a great way to expand your mentorship program outside of just one school. Pair up staff from various locations to share their knowledge and experience with each other.

5. Start Succession Planning

Eventually, key members of your leadership team will leave, whether through retirement or other reasons. To prepare for this inevitability, you need to have a solid succession plan. Well prepared institutions or districts often have someone in mind for a position even before it’s officially vacant—and they have been preparing this person to seamlessly transition into the position. Succession planning ensures you always have a pipeline of potential leaders who have the skills to step up when the time is right.

While you’re building your pipeline and implementing a well-rounded retention strategy, let us help with the behind-the-scenes work. Schedule a tour of Learning Stream today to see how registration software can simplify and automate the details.

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