RETENTION OF NOVICE TEACHERS ENROLLED IN A U.S. TEACHER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
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The influence of novice teachers’ experiences with meeting the same standards as their veteran peers while trying to develop the pedagogical skills necessary for their roles also plays an effect in novice teachers’ experience with occupational stress and burnout in their role. Together, these factors influence the teacher’s decision to persist in the classroom or leave to pursue teaching in an affluent community or pursue other roles within and outside of the educational landscape. A needs assessment revealed that novice teachers at the U.S. Teachers Academy (USTA), a pseudonym used for the purpose of this study, who expressed higher self-efficacy and lower levels of burnout had increased desires to persist as teachers more than their peers. Thus, a 6-month intervention was designed and implemented to engage participants in a community of practice using the Balint Group model. The intervention comprised eight novice teachers, a psychoanalyst who served as the facilitator, and a USTA alumni who served as the co-facilitator for the group. A convergent mixed-method study was used. Findings revealed participants felt a strong sense of community and developed skills to have strong relationships with their students and peers which mitigated some stress; however, other administrative tasks in their roles contributed to burnout during the intervention. All participants expressed a desire to persist for the following academic year; however, most participants expressed desires to take on educational roles outside of the classroom in their future.