Science & Tech

New research finds school hiring and support practices fall short

2 min read

33% of new teachers hired after the school year has started

Consider these startling facts: • 33% of new teachers are hired after the school year has already started, and 62% are hired within 30 days of when they start teaching • Only 50% of new teachers interview with any of their future teacher colleagues as part of the hiring process • 56% report that no extra assistance is available to them as new teachers These findings are part of a study from the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project on the Next Generation of Teachers, directed by Pforzheimer Professor Susan Moore Johnson. Researchers Susan M. Kardos and Edward Liu surveyed a random sample of 486 new (first- and second-year) teachers in California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Michigan to learn about the hiring practices and the professional culture of the schools where they work. Kardos and Liu found that the new teachers in these four states are entering the profession by different routes and at different stages in their careers — 46 percent of new teachers in these states are entering teaching at mid-career, and the average age of these mid-career entrants is 38 years. “The varied backgrounds and preparation of this next generation of teachers pose a challenge for schools. New teachers today do not fit the stereotypical image of 22-year-olds embarking upon their first careers after graduating from university teacher education programs,” says Johnson. “Schools need to think carefully about how to hire and support this diverse group of new teachers, so that they can teach effectively and find success in their work. Otherwise, schools will be forever searching for new recruits.”