The impact teacher absenteeism has on student achievement

The impact teacher absenteeism has on student achievement, not to mention the monetary impact on the school, is obvious and apparent. According to one study, “These patterns of teacher stress are related to students’ success in school, both academically and behaviorally” (BArberio, 2018). This study goes on to add that teacher absenteeism impacts student behavior issues almost to the level of student achievement in learning. This is no surprise to anyone who has spent time in a classroom and has witnessed the behavioral issues often tied to the break in a routine of having a substitute teacher in class. “classrooms with highly stressed teachers have more instances of disruptive behaviors and lower levels of prosocial behavior.”(Barberio, 2018). It is remains clear that if you disrupt that continuity for any amount of time, there is truly a disruption to the positive school environment for students. When these absences are repetitive the research shows a negative impact on achievement overall for students. Additionally when focusing on the ever increasing emphasis on standardized test scores one study shows that “the relationship between teacher absences and the standardized test scores was negative” (Algozzine, B. et al., 2012).
Schools have often been slow to recognize this verified data and therefore policy for teacher attendance has been slow to adapt as well. As one district employee in charge of Human Resources at Guilford County Schools in North Carolina state, “Hearing such news was like getting hit by a two by four” (Spegman, 2016). Another Human Resources employee in a Pheonix, Arizona school district added that principals had not looked at much data related to teachers absences and its impact saying that “the data was quite surprising and very revealing for many of them” (Jackson, 2018). Some districts are surprised to see just how much on an impact teacher absenteeism has on student learning. This would be compounded for those students who are considered at risk, where they would most likely be affected even more by having a revolving door of educators in their class oftentimes when what many of those students need is stability. One Education Dive articles also says that
the National Bureau of Economic Research concludes that the effects of a excessive teacher absenteeism is like comparing the impact of a first-year teacher and a teacher with at least three years experience (Harper, 2018). That is a dramatic difference in experience and effectiveness and will undoubtedly impact student achievement.
The Times Herald newspaper in Port Huron, Michigan says in an article about low cost teacher incentives that “teachers who miss a lot of school days interrupt class routines, relationship building and class discussions, and substitutes aren’t always experts in the subjects students are learning” (Turner, 2017). There must be a focus on improving teachers absences throughout the school districts of the nation. Having a substitute replace a teacher excessively in the classroom is a disservice to students, parents, the school, the district and other key stakeholders concerned with the education of the youth in our society. The Times Herald article goes on to discuss the importance of teacher and parent relationships and how much that fosters the success students in the classroom (Turner, 2017). If this relationship is negatively impacted by multiple teacher absences than students will feel receive much of the impact of a lack of parent involvement especially in situations where the student starts to struggle in the class. “building relationships between teachers and parents and parents are more willing to ask for help or discuss concerns about their students Therefore, even the impact on key stakeholders involved in education is real and evident. The research is clear and concise: teacher absenteeism impacts the classrooms around the nation in numerous ways and ultimately negatively impacts student achievement. There must be an improvement in the teacher attendance rate across the nation. Therefore it is important to determine how districts use incentives, what are some incentives that work as well as some that do not work and what other impacts could districts have on the improvement of teacher attendance?