Purpose. The article focuses on the problem of poor retention rates in rural schools in the US. The literature review provided in the study revealed that nearly one third of all the teachers leave the profession within five years. The literature review also demonstrated Supportive leadership a significant positive impact on the retention rates of teachers in rural areas. However, research fails to specify which behaviors of the leaders can be interpreted as supportive. The research aimed at addressing this problem by specifying behaviors of leaders that may contribute to teacher retention in rural areas.
Methods. The researchers utilized focus groups as the primary data collection method. Three focus groups were conducted using a strict protocol to ensure the validity of methods. The focus groups were conducted among administrators, superintendents, and teachers. Thematic analysis was conducted to help the researchers understand what strategies can be used to retain teachers in rural schools.
Findings. The analysis of data revealed that rural schools have to try much harder and in more active ways to retain new teachers because of the constraints existing within rural education. The study also found that rural school support for new teachers needs to be a collective responsibility to positively impact the retention of new teachers. Finally, the study found that the structural supports, affirmation, and encouragement offered by their organizations help to heighten the retention of new teachers.
Recommendations. A set of recommendation was for leaders of rural schools was created. First, the leaders were recommended to establish purposeful plans for connecting with inexperienced educators. Second, leaders should look for ways to validate the efforts of new teachers. Third, leaders should look for strategies to unite all the teachers staff to provide collective support of new teachers.