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Teacher Retention and Our Programs

Classroom Management

Many teachers leave their jobs because of difficulties with classroom management. Better student behavior can mean less time spent on classroom management and more on what gives teachers job satisfaction: teaching.

Second Step lessons emphasize fundamental skills that can improve student behavior in the classroom and beyond, including empathy, anger management, listening, perspective taking, and asking for help. The program has been shown to reduce disruptions in the classroom, and many schools have found that it can help reduce discipline referrals.

In addition, a recent study shows that teachers who use the Steps to Respect program to weave support for positive behavior into daily interactions with students are rewarded with less aggression, victimization, and encouragement of bullying. This also leads to fewer discipline referrals.

And another study showed 33 percent less physical bullying, 35 percent fewer teachers reporting fighting as a major problem, and 20 percent more staff members reporting that their school is promoting a positive environment in Steps to Respect schools. Dealing with fewer bullying incidents means more time for teaching.

Overall School Climate

The Second Step and Steps to Respect programs are designed to improve the climate of the whole school. For example, the Steps to Respect program can help entire buildings address the issue of bullying, creating an environment conducive to academic success and good relationships between students and staff. When students and teachers share a common language that they can use to express feelings, manage anger, and solve problems, it’s easier to communicate, and school can become a more harmonious place.

In addition, using the Second Step Program Implementation Guide and the Steps to Respect Schoolwide Implementation Support Kit can help build a schoolwide set of expectations, policies, and procedures for dealing with student misbehavior consistently and fairly. These give students a clear message about what constitutes unacceptable behavior and supports teachers with agreed-on procedures for handling disruptions and bullying. This support can be particularly valuable to new teachers looking for guidance in dealing with these tough situations.

Administrator Involvement

A common complaint of teachers leaving a school is that they didn’t get enough support from the principal or school administration. The Second Step and Steps to Respect programs emphasize principal and administrator buy-in and leadership throughout the life of the program and provide a means for all staff to work together to improve school climate. Both programs include specific information to help administrators lead and support this process.

Teacher Training and Professional Development

Professional development opportunities can also help schools retain excellent teachers. Read more about our programs and teacher training and professional development.

Success Stories

Using Title I to Fund Social-Emotional Learning

Title I Funding for Second Step Kits


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