Teachers need more than incentives 

Teachers need more than incentives 

#TurksandCaicos, March 15, 2023 – As the debate about teacher retention continues Curriculum Development Officer Elsiann Delancy says the solution may be simpler than mountains of incentives. Speaking as part of a March 7 expert panel on Teacher Retention in the Turks and Caicos Delancy admitted that while incentives do make work sweeter, research and her own experience had proved that there was more to it.

“There are three (3) factors that really speak to teacher retention: Individual factors, work factors–” she continued “and what I think is the most important: socio organizational structure.”

 Delancy explained that individual factors covered how the teacher was functioning on a personal level, whether they were burnt out or stressed; struggling with personal issues that could render them unable or unwilling to continue in the profession. 

For work factors which can be influenced by the government include whether or not student to teacher ratios are manageable, teachers stress levels in the classroom. The state of the school and whether it was conducive to learning was another issue she quoted along with the availability of learning resources.

The Organizational structure of schools which the curriculum officer says is among the most critical of concerns, whether or not teachers are satisfied with the structure and whether the work environment is one that supports teachers’ free expression and creates an aura of ease.

“It’s also looking at the leadership of the school and whether the teacher has some kind of autonomy,” she said.

Delancy referenced a recent study which she said supported her arguments. 

“It looked at teacher retention in the US, Bahamas and Jamaica and what they found was incentives played only 13 percent but the overarching factor for teacher and job satisfaction and retention spoke to whether the teacher was satisfied within the position and whether they had any kind of autonomy and control over what they taught.”

She encouraged the government to try to come up with different strategies to meet these fundamental needs before adding more incentives. 

  • PublishedMarch 18, 2023

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