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The Stay Interview

Pearls of Wisdom
By Tim Rogers
The Stay Interview

For over 30 years international school leaders, teachers, and counselors have come together for Principals’ Training Center (PTC) professional learning experiences. Each day of every program begins with a “pearl of wisdom,” a “nugget of knowledge,” or a “gem of inspiration” from one of the participants. We are delighted to offer our readers around the world these powerful stories, insights, and strategies, all dedicated to our shared mission of ever more and better learning for our children.  

In this pearl, Tim shares a practical idea for retaining teachers. He recommends using stay interviews to check in with people before they even think about leaving. He says, “The main goal of a stay interview is to show people you’re invested in them.” Ask teachers why they stay. What do they love about the job, the school? What can you amplify to make the school a great place to work? What would it take to retain them in the future? Stay interviews are another tool to “instill a culture of trust. To show teachers that we’re willing to listen, discuss, and have open dialogue.” Even if you can’t implement or fulfill everything they want to see, creating the opportunity to have these conversations creates a more positive environment. He says that “staff turnover is inevitable” but that “there is a lot more that we can do to keep hold of great teachers and valuable employees.”

Professional positions cited were the ones held at the time of recording. The positions and schools of those quoted may have since changed.


Tim Rogers is the secondary assistant principal at the American International School in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

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