Category Archives: News


The findings presented in this report consistently indicate that to retain more teachers of all generations, the most powerful thing that policymakers and others can do is to support teachers’ ability to be effective with their students. Teachers who can see that they are making a difference in their students’ learning will stay in the […]

Policy Recommendation 6:

Work to design and implement a set of differentiated career options for teachers to increase retention in and satisfaction with the field. The data collected for this study indicate that 98 percent of Gen Y teachers plan to stay in the field of education for the entire trajectory of their careers. Yet, of that 98 […]

Finding 6:

Most Gen Y teachers believe they will stay in education, if not the classroom, for the long haul. In general, Gen Y is seen as less oriented toward long-term careers (National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, 2007), and yet Gen Y is also seen as a highly education-minded group (Wong & Wong, 2007a, 2007b). […]

Policy Recommendation 5:

School and district leaders should ensure that collaborative activities are designed to enhance the instructional practice of all participants, which also will serve as a mechanism for creating cross-generational understanding and trust. The Gen Y teacher’s desire for feedback is reflective of a larger need expressed by this group of young educators to collaborate, working […]

Finding 5:

All teachers desire meaningful collaboration with their colleagues—not just younger ones. The literature on Gen Y workers in the private sector suggests that opportunities for collaboration are extremely important for this new generation. Research indicates that Gen Y strongly values working collaboratively in teams (Shaffer, 2008, p. 4) and, more generally, developing solid relationships with […]

Policy Recommendation 4:

For frequent observations; commit to participating in a genuine feedback loop with the observed teachers. In all professional fields, members of Gen Y desire feedback. Gen Y professionals want to be respected through their superiors’ dedication to observe them and then meaningfully reflect on that observation. They want to be effective and appreciate assistance in […]

Finding 4:

Gen Y teachers tend to desire sustained, constructive, and individualized feedback from principals to help them become more effective in the classroom. Best practices in private-sector talent management frequently include offering substantive and thoughtful feedback as a strategy. According to Lawler (2008), a critical factor in the successful recruitment and hiring of high-quality employees is […]

Policy Recommendation 3:

School leaders should be supported to make tenure decisions a more meaningful stop along the educator career continuum. Local policymakers, with teacher input, should design and implement an evaluation system that will provide tenure only after teachers demonstrate their effectiveness in the classroom. Many teachers interviewed and surveyed for this study expressed skepticism with the […]

Finding 3 (continued II)

Nevertheless as noted in Figure 13, the surveyed teachers do not perceive that eliminating teacher tenure would be an effective way to improve teaching, though Gen Y teachers are slightly less sanguine. Focus group participants did not place a great deal of value on tenure, some saying they either did not know why they had […]

Finding 3 (continued)

In addition, the survey found that there is rising concern among teachers that unions too often protect ineffective teachers, doubling the number of those strongly agreeing with that concern between 2003 and today (see Figure 12). And although unions do not set tenure policy (such policy is implemented by each state), Gen Y teachers perceive […]

Policy Recommendation 2:

Given stagnant and declining state and local funding for education, state and local policymakers may want to consider targeting scarce resources toward improving school working conditions with the intention of retaining high-performing teachers Despite prompting teachers in focus groups and our survey multiple times, it is clear that there were no generational differences when it […]

Finding 2 (continued)

Teachers of all generations tend to see teaching conditions as more important than salary, all other factors being equal. Mirroring findings from earlier studies (Farkas, Johnson, & Foleno, 2000; Hirsch & Emerick, 2007; Rochkind, Immawahr, Ott, & Johnson, 2006), teachers consistently prefer schools that provide professional support to schools that pay a higher salary (see […]

Finding 2:

Paying for performance is seen as the least important policy option for improving teacher effectiveness and retention; having meaningful learning opportunities, reducing class size, increasing parental involvement, and raising salaries across the board still rank higher. The Retaining Teacher Talent survey asked teachers to provide their assessment of 12 different policy options that covered a wide range […]

Retaining Teacher Talent

Policy Recommendation 1a: When developing an alternative compensation plan, local policymakers should implement and communicate a transparent approach that clearly identifies the rationale and methodology used to distribute performance-based incentives—especially when including student outcomes as one measure. Most teachers of all generations will have difficulty trusting an evaluation system that is based solely on students’ […]

The View From Generation Y (continued)

Differentiating financial rewards based on performance was problematic for the teachers in Lortie’s study because of the uncertainty of teaching, and the external definitions of performance in terms of the most valued instructional and relational outcomes were untrustworthy (Lortie, 1975). Almost 40 years later, Gen Y teachers are showing signs that the teaching workforce may […]

The View From Generation Y

Forward-looking leaders in states and districts will find in this report cutting-edge ideas on how to build a world-class teacher corps by understanding what attracts and dissuades Gen Y teachers from the profession. Two overarching themes emerge: Teachers’ views on the best ways to structure teacher compensation are evolving. Teachers’ views on the conditions under […]

Retaining Teacher Talent

Research Study Methodology Telephone Survey Data were collected by phone and online between April 16 and June 22, 2009. In order to capture the views of younger teachers as well as the perspectives of teachers overall, the survey included an oversample of 241 teachers aged 32 and under; 642 interviews were conducted with teachers age 33 […]

The Cold Hard Truth

While my students continue to impress me with their drive and love of learning, it occurs to me there may be a reason they seem so starved. As my friends have listened to my rants, some have urged me to share this here. I was nervous to put a harsh reality out there, but I […]

A New Year

It begins again! One recent development, which I hope to fully establish by September, is the Urbiztondo Beach Library. Faced with the great success of the library at my school, I decided to create a portable library for the children who live by our beach. For now, I borrowed the books from the school, but as […]

Teacher’s Day (slash month)

Teacher’s Day in the Philippines is a big deal. Food and games is a no-brainer, as no Filipino celebration is complete without them. I got to take a whack at the Filipino version of a piñata, and there was an assembly where teachers were presented with gifts from the students (mostly comprised of origami flowers, which now […]

Innovations – Teacher Talk

The title of this post is innovations. This is my disclaimer: innovation is relative. Most of the techniques I will talk about have been used for decades in quality classrooms throughout the world (including some schools here in the Philippines). I call them innovative only in that many teachers at my school have not heard of […]

Onward and Upward

I can’t believe it has already been two months since my last post! I will have to be more diligent in writing, but the last month has been especially busy, as I have begun speaking at conferences in different parts of the Philippines on the weekends. This is on top of my typical 50+ hour […]

The Future of Extreme Teaching

Extreme Teaching is only going to grow and develop further, but my goal is to eliminate or greatly reduce the demand placed on donors. If you know anyone who is interested in aiding in the continuation of this project, please email me at [email protected]  To start, we will seeking qualified volunteers to teach English or Reading Remediation. Qualified candidates […]

Urbitztondo Elementary

Urbitztondo Elementary is a small public school in San Juan, La Union, Philippines. Home to 231 students from the area, approximately 70% are from low-income families working on farms, as fishermen, or simply unemployed. Though the students at this school have excelled in gymnastics and other competitions, their academic performance continues to suffer, in part due […]

Chaos and Harmony

This past week was a lesson in patience and perseverance. One of our teachers was transferred to another school, so we had to combine our 6th grade classes into one section. My most wonderfully peaceful, rigorous, and hardworking classes have immediately transformed into a creative form of energy sapping torture. I now have 49 students […]

ELTFORUM Conference – Slovakia

Date: 10th-11th June 2020 Venue: Bratislava, Slovakia Entrance fee: 10€ ELT Forum invites you to get together with other English language teachers from all over Slovakia to discuss and share best practices, issues and solutions at its first international conference in English language teaching. The 2-day conference that is a joint event of Slovak Association of Language Schools, British […]

First Week Finished!

My first week here at Urbitztondo Elementary has been amazing. I finally managed to get all the paperwork signed, the clearance from the local government official, and I have officially been added to the school staff (unpaid!) list. I had some amazing friends help me set up my classroom! It’s far from ideal (read: no […]

Other Community Projects – The White Wall

 ~There are splashes of color where there once was white~ The White Wall Project was a collective effort between the youth of the Urbiztondo neighborhood, a group of passionate individuals, a local NGO – The Collective, and the San Fernando City Youth initiative – LINK Members of The Collective, Colleen Curran and Meghan Larson conceptualized the […]

Fun, Easy, Interactive and Free Online Opportunities

The British Council is working closely with the Austrian organization, Education Group, to provide new and interesting online activities for students in and outside of the English language classroom.  The Education Group says they have the biggest structured repository of learning objects and links for English language learning and teaching in Austria. The Group uses […]