For Immediate Release: November 2, 2022
JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education has released results of its 2021-22 Teacher Retention Survey, which offers key findings for strengthening the educator workforce statewide.
Out of 31,641 Mississippi teachers in the 2021-22 school year, 5,856 completed the survey from April 18, through July 28, this year. The anonymous survey included 71 questions and took about 25 minutes to complete. It was conducted within MDE’s Office of Teaching and Leading and provides sample data on recruitment, onboarding, support, community involvement, school leadership and compensation among Mississippi teachers.
Key survey findings show MDE’s efforts to strengthen instruction through strategies such as Mississippi Instructional Materials Matter and Mississippi Connects have a positive impact. The survey also revealed teachers primarily learn from other teachers, the Professional Growth System (PGS) should drive professional learning and school leadership is the biggest factor in teacher retention and attrition.
As for recruitment, 51% of survey respondents noted they heard about open positions from a colleague or friend, while 3% became aware of positions from online job boards or a job fair. Also, 47% of teachers were influenced to apply for jobs based on their geographic location, and 28% applied after having a conversation with a school leader. Only 2% applied for jobs based on a recruitment event.
When describing steps in their hiring process, 79% of teachers reported completing an in-person interview with the principal. Far fewer teachers – 3% and 2%, respectively – reported the process included demonstrating a teaching lesson or an activity using student data.
Other survey findings included teachers valuing clear communication during onboarding of their jobs and new teachers staying in the profession because they have a formally assigned mentor. The majority of respondents agreed they work in a safe environment with sufficient access to instructional technology, that curriculum taught is aligned with the Mississippi College and Career Readiness Standards (MCCRS) and parents/guardians are provided useful information. Only 37% of respondents agreed enough efforts are made to minimize routine paperwork on the job.
Finally, while 64% of teachers reported feeling valued as a result of the new teacher pay raise for the 2022-23 school year, only 29% reported they were satisfied with their salary.
MDE’s strategies to address teacher retention and attrition include:
- Continuing the Mississippi Teacher Residency program, which includes a formal mentor component
- Providing a Mentoring and Induction Toolkit that any school or district can use to create a local mentoring and induction program for new teachers and their mentors
- Aligning the Virtual and Face-to-Face Professional Development Catalog to Professional Growth System domains and standards
- Updating the Orientation to School Leadership (OSL) credits needed for conversion to a standard, renewable administrator license
To see the presentation of the Teacher Retention Survey to the State Board of Education during its October meeting, watch the meeting’s livestream.
Find all MDE news releases at mdek12.org/news.
Jean Cook, APR
Chief of Communication
Public Information Officer