The retention of francophone beginning teachers in British Columbia: a cultural perspective

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Soucy, Louise-Andree
This study is based on the understanding that there is a high turn over of francophone beginning teachers being hired every year at the Conseil Scolaire Francophone (CSF) of British Columbia. There is a need to retain francophone beginning teachers in British Columbia after their first years of teaching. This study explores the factors that appear to have an effect on the retention of francophone beginning teachers working for the CSF of British Columbia. A quantitative survey was conducted among francophone beginning teachers, with two years or less of experience teaching for the CSF, to determine the factors that contributed to the their successes and obstacles during their first years of teaching, and, consequently influenced their decision to stay or leave the CSF. The survey combined with a literature review on induction programs and teacher retention, found that francophone beginning teachers related various induction programs offered by the CSF to their job satisfaction. The study found several factors linked to the uniqueness of the cultural situation of the CSF. The study also found that the factors influencing the decision of beginning teachers to leave the CSF were linked to family, high cost of living in British Columbia and the unique challenges of teaching for the CSF. The study concludes that in order to retain a higher number of beginning teachers every year, the CSF has to distribute its leadership in the schools in order to offer local induction programs that are sustainable. Recommendations for the distribution of support and resources for beginning teachers by the CSF and its school leaders are offered.
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