The problem of teacher retention has intensified in Australia, particularly in rural areas, with a number of studies suggesting that beginning teachers are not entering the profession with a commitment to remaining there. This paper reports on a study of 102 new teachers graduating from a rural campus of a major Australian university. Utilising a self devised survey over a 3 year period, graduate reflections were captured on what it meant for them to become a teacher. The research sought to determine graduates’ goals and aspirations for working in the profession in both the long and the short term. Participants reported that while they were looking for stability and would like to remain in their current positions, they were hampered by the present contractual system which eroded any sense of permanence. It is argued that contractual employment disrupts the development of a sense of belonging to the profession and the building of meaningful connections between teachers and their schools, a factor that will require attention if retention issues within rural Australia are to be seriously addressed.
& Dyson, M.
Becoming a Teacher and Staying One: Examining the Complex Ecologies Associated With Educating and Retaining New Teachers in Rural Australia?.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 36(1).