An Analysis of Successful Induction Programs for Early Career Teachers in Rural Central Washington State
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This qualitative applied research study addressed the challenges public school principals in rural school communities face with regard to retention of provisional teachers. The two research questions that guided this study were: (a) What are principals in some rural schools in Educational Service District 105 in Central Washington State doing to successfully retain provisional teachers? (b) What support did provisional teachers from those schools in ESD 105 report as having the biggest impact on their decisions to remain teaching at their respective schools? Principals and teachers from five schools with high retention rates for provisional teachers were interviewed to identify components implemented in their schools to support provisional teachers. The teachers revealed the impact that induction program components had on their decisions to remain teaching at their respective schools beyond their provisional status years. Relationships between induction program components and teacher retention were identified. Teachers also identified other factors that influenced their decisions to continue working in the same school. Responses were categorized using the constant comparative method and categorized by themes: professional development, time to interact with colleagues, supportive school leadership, positive school culture, and location and community. Teachers identified common leadership style among the five principals that can be classified as Responsive Leadership. The singular factor unrelated to induction or principal impact identified by teachers was their desire to work and reside in the same rural community.