Background of the Study
Teachers touch the lives of all children from a variety of backgrounds, including those from families that exhibit a wide range of cultural and linguistic diversity. Teachers also touch the lives of children with varying ability levels, including those with significant disadvantages, such as poverty, parental and societal neglect, as well as intellectual, social and physical disabilities. Generally, quality teachers are those teachers that students remember and cherish forever. Such teachers have long-lasting impacts on the lives of students. They have good classroom management skills and ensure good student behaviour, effective study and work habit. They also possess the knowledge of the subject matter they teach, they are prepared to answer questions and make lessons interesting for students. Nevertheless, some teachers tend to leave the teaching profession to other jobs or transfer from one school to another, putting those most vulnerable children and youths at risk of failing to realize opportunities afforded to them through quality education. Understanding why teachers leave is the first step in getting them to stay. Most times, teachers leave when they encounter environments that lack essential professional supports. These include: Job dissatisfaction; poor working conditions and low salary; inadequate support from parents, administration, colleagues and the public; discipline, management and attendance problems; increasing class size; increase in workloads; poor motivation of students; and lack of space for teachers to participate in key decisions affecting the school. Another reason is lack of induction and mentoring programmes for new and experienced teachers (Ingersoll and Smith, 2004). The complexity of the issues embedded in retaining high quality teachers, made administrators find addressing these essential issues to be a daunting task. It is therefore paramount to assist administrators in planning, implementing, evaluating a high quality teacher retention initiative that will help keep the best teacher in their schools.
Retention is referred to as the ability of an organization to retain its employees. It could also be considered as relating to the efforts by which employers attempt to retain their workforce.
Quality teachers, as studies have consistently shown, are teachers who are better trained, more experienced and licensed in the subject they teach (Mayer, Mullens and Moore, 2000). Development are planned activities which focus on increasing and enlarging the capacities of employees so that they can successfully handle greater and / or assume higher position in the organisation’s hierarchy to better handle current responsibilities. It has been known by several names including human resource development, learning and development (Harrison, 2005). The art of retaining and developing quality teachers is therefore pivotal to school administrators to the success of secondary schools.