Help to reduce teacher turnover

Educating your child tonight means teacher troubles in the Mid-South. Some school districts are having a hard time KEEPING teachers once they get them. Hanging on to teachers has been a major problem for Memphis City Schools.

It's estimated HALF of all new teachers leave the district before their 5 year anniversary. Some experts say the constant change has a DIRECT affect on student performance, and it's something school officials say they're trying to fix. Supt. Johnnie Watson, Memphis City Schools said, "A lot of times once they get in the classroom they have very big classes, but once they get in there it becomes a culture shock." And it isn't just Memphis Schools at a loss. U of M president Shirley Raines says fewer and fewer college students want to be teachers. "Part of the reason is that there's such a turnover, people who go into the profession and then leave." But a recent collaboration between the two systems, and more than 800 thousand dollars in grant money from the Plough Foundation, promises to bring the first signs of change. Diane Rudner, Plough Foundation said, "Using psych visits and working with teachers in their first and second years ...impact the students in the city schools." < /P > < P > The money will be put toward a new mentoring program, pairing veteran educators with new teachers heading into Memphis City Schools. The program will focus on lesson planning, student parent interaction, and emotional support, a helping hand with what at times can be a difficult transition into Tennessee's largest school district.